Friday 21 November 2008

Getting under your skin ...

Various developments are often popping up in the area of sensing and new sensor technology.  Scientists in Belgium have now announced a way of using optical components such as waveguides, light sources and detectors in a flexible substrate, potentially offering a new type of pressure sensor.  Because the form of the substrate may be a flexible foil type of structure, it is possible to imagine its use as an artificial skin material.  This might have applications in robots or indeed other machinery where such a sense is of use. 

A thin layer of silicone is arranged between two polymer waveguide layers and the amount of crosstalk detected indicates the pressure applied.  in the absence of any pressure, there is no leakage between the layers.  This makes for a potentially very cheap pressure sensor.  The ultimate aim of the researchers is to make a stretchable skin which is sensitive to pressure, touch and deformation.  

1 comment:

Dave Hartley said...


I attended your healthcare lecture last Thursday, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. As a student of presentation style, I must congratulate you on a great "sticky" presentation, with just the right blend of multimedia. I can still remember much of the content.

I was also intrigued by your mobile phone demo, and would very much like to find out more about the software you were using to control the computer.

Thank you for the many thought provoking ideas. Hope to hear you speak again soon.