A flexible, three-axis carbon nanotube (CNT)-polymer composite-based tactile sensor is presented. The proposed sensor consists of a flexible substrate, four sensing cells, and a bump structure. A CNT-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite is produced by a solvent evaporation method, and thus, the CNTs are well-dispersed within the PDMS matrix. The composite is directly patterned onto a flexible substrate using a screen printing technique to fabricate a sensor with four sensing cells. When a force is applied on the bump, the magnitude and direction of force could be detected by comparing the changes in electrical resistance of each sensing cell caused by the piezoresistive effect of the composite. The experimentally verified sensing characteristics of the fabricated sensor exhibit a linear relationship between the resistance change and the applied force, and the measured sensitivities of the sensor for the normal and shear forces are 6.67 and 86.7%/N for forces up to 2.0 and 0.5 N, respectively. Experiments to verify the load-sensing repeatability show a maximum 2.00% deviation of the resistance change within the tested force range.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering