Smart threads can be woven into pressure-sensitive electronic skin for robots or medical prosthetics.
Fabrics containing flexible electronics are appearing in many novel products, such as clothes with in-built screens and solar panels. More impressively, these fabrics can act as electronic skins that can sense their surroundings and could have applications in robotics and prosthetic medicine. KAUST researchers have now developed smart threads that detect the strength and location of pressures exerted on them1.
Most flexible sensors function by detecting changes in the electrical properties of materials in response to pressure, temperature, humidity or the presence of gases. Electronic skins are built up as arrays of several individual sensors. These arrays currently need complex wiring and data analysis, which makes them too heavy, large or expensive for large-scale production.
Yanlong Tai and Gilles Lubineau from the University’s Division of Physical Science and Engineering have found a different approach. They built their smart threads from cotton threads coated with layers of one of the miracle materials of nanotechnology: single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs).
“Cotton threads are a classic material for fabrics, so they seemed a logical choice,” said Lubineau. “Networks of nanotubes are also known to have piezoresistive properties, meaning their electrical resistance depends on the applied pressure.”
The researchers showed their threads had decreased resistance when subjected to stronger mechanical strains, and crucially the amplitude of the resistance change also depended on the thickness of the SWCNT coating.
These findings led the researchers to their biggest breakthrough: they developed threads of graded thickness with a thick SWCNT layer at one end tapering to a thin layer at the other end. Then, by combining threads in pairs—one with graded thickness and one of uniform thickness—the researchers could not only detect the strength of an applied pressure load, but also the position of the load along the threads.
“Our system is not the first technology to sense both the strength and position of applied pressures, but our graded structure avoids the need for complicated electrode wirings, heavy data recording and analysis,” said Tai.
The researchers have used their smart threads to build two- and three-dimensional arrays that accurately detect pressures similar to those that real people and robots might be exposed to.
“We hope that electronic skins made from our smart threads could benefit any robot or medical prosthetic in which pressure sensing is important, such as artificial hands,” said Lubineau.
Learn more: Threading the way to touch-sensitive robots
The Latest on: Pressure-sensitive electronic skin
via Google News
The Latest on: Pressure-sensitive electronic skin
- MANUFACTURER’S OUTLOOK: BAR CODINGBAR CODING FINDING APPLICATIONS IN WAREHOUSI..on January 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Many bar-coded applications are driven by retailers who are now using Compliance Marking Application and Electronic Data ... s warehouse. Each pressure-sensitive label, which generally measures ...
- Designing products that break biases with Render Weekly and Ti Chang!on January 19, 2021 at 5:33 am
The post was a conversation starter but it needed to be followed by action, so Yanko Design teamed up with designer (and powerhouse) Ti Chang as well as Render Weekly to encourage participation from ...
- Adhesive Product Trends for Medical, Automotive Industrieson January 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Die cut polyimide film is laminated with silicone pressure-sensitive adhesives to masks ... attach drug-delivering patches to the skin, and support sore joints. Such adhesives need to keep germs ...
- Multilayered electronic transfer tattoo that can enable the crease amplification effecton January 13, 2021 at 2:21 pm
However, existing electronic tattoos cannot be conformal ... the adhesive layer allows the METT to form a tight and conformal attachment to the skin. The acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesives are ...
- The South & Central America medical device adhesive market is expected to reach US$ 928.97 million by 2027 from US$ 563.50 million in 2019on January 12, 2021 at 1:30 am
Advancements in electronics technologies are enabling medical electronic devices to facilitate ... most of the medical device manufacturers use pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) for grounding ...
- The South & Central America medical device adhesive market is expected to reach US$ 928.97 million by 2027 from US$ 563.50 million in 2019on January 12, 2021 at 1:28 am
Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "South and Central America Medical Device Adhesives Market Forecast to ...
- Collaborative Robots Expand in Scopeon December 16, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Simply put, by utilizing pressure-sensitive safety mats, light curtains ... with it certain end-user perceptions and expectations apart from the product’s electronic and mechanical capabilities. As ...
- 2013 Chevrolet Traverseon August 14, 2020 at 1:12 am
most car touch-screens are pressure sensitive and will work if you’re wearing gloves or have dry skin — though a gloved finger’s ability to hit the right spot is another matter). The 6.5 ...
- Foams and Foam Materials Specificationson February 11, 2018 at 7:19 am
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS, Styrofoam) Styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS) and styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) copolymers are commonly applied in pressure sensitive adhesive applications ... isolator ...
- External and Internal Heart Rate Monitoring of the Fetus*on October 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm
Another type of monitor is a hand-held electronic Doppler ultrasound device ... uterine contractions are usually monitored along with the fetal heart rate. A pressure-sensitive device called a ...
via Bing News