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Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072374

Design and Fabrication Technology of Low Profile Tactile Sensor with Digital Interface for Whole Body Robot Skin

1
Department of Robotics, Tohoku University, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan
2
Microsystem Integration Center, Tohoku University, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan
3
T-Frontier Div., Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota, Aichi 470-0309, Japan
4
Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc., Aichi 480-1192, Japan
Current Address: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Covering a whole surface of a robot with tiny sensors which can measure local pressure and transmit the data through a network is an ideal solution to give an artificial skin to robots to improve a capability of action and safety. The crucial technological barrier is to package force sensor and communication function in a small volume. In this paper, we propose the novel device structure based on a wafer bonding technology to integrate and package capacitive force sensor using silicon diaphragm and an integrated circuit separately manufactured. Unique fabrication processes are developed, such as the feed-through forming using a dicing process, a planarization of the Benzocyclobutene (BCB) polymer filled in the feed-through and a wafer bonding to stack silicon diaphragm onto ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) wafer. The ASIC used in this paper has a capacitance measurement circuit and a digital communication interface mimicking a tactile receptor of a human. We successfully integrated the force sensor and the ASIC into a 2.5×2.5×0.3 mm die and confirmed autonomously transmitted packets which contain digital sensing data with the linear force sensitivity of 57,640 Hz/N and 10 mN of data fluctuation. A small stray capacitance of 1.33 pF is achieved by use of 10 μm thick BCB isolation layer and this minimum package structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensor; MEMS-CMOS integration; wafer level packaging; sensor network; through silicon via; benzocyclobutene tactile sensor; MEMS-CMOS integration; wafer level packaging; sensor network; through silicon via; benzocyclobutene
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Makihata, M.; Muroyama, M.; Tanaka, S.; Nakayama, T.; Nonomura, Y.; Esashi, M. Design and Fabrication Technology of Low Profile Tactile Sensor with Digital Interface for Whole Body Robot Skin. Sensors 2018, 18, 2374.

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