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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

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
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA.
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072374
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 21 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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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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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