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Open AccessArticle

E-Skin Bimodal Sensors for Robotics and Prosthesis Using PDMS Molds Engraved by Laser

CENIMAT|i3N, Departamento de Ciência dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
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This paper is an extended version of our paper published in: Santos, A.D.; Pinela, N.; Alves, P.; Santos, R.; Fortunato, E.; Martins, R.; Águas, H.; Igreja, R. E-Skin Pressure Sensors Made by Laser Engraved PDMS Molds. In Proceedings of the Eurosensors 2018 Conference, Graz, Austria, 9–12 September 2018.
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040899
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eurosensors 2018 Selected Papers)
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Abstract

Electronic skin (e-skin) is pursued as a key component in robotics and prosthesis to confer them sensing properties that mimic human skin. For pressure monitoring, a great emphasis on piezoresistive sensors was registered due to the simplicity of sensor design and readout mechanism. For higher sensitivity, films composing these sensors may be micro-structured, usually by expensive photolithography techniques or low-cost and low-customizable molds. Sensors commonly present different sensitivities in different pressure ranges, which should be avoided in robotics and prosthesis applications. The combination of pressure sensing and temperature is also relevant for the field and has room for improvement. This work proposes an alternative approach for film micro-structuration based on the production of highly customizable and low-cost molds through laser engraving. These bimodal e-skin piezoresistive and temperature sensors could achieve a stable sensitivity of −6.4 × 10−3 kPa−1 from 1.6 kPa to 100 kPa, with a very robust and reproducible performance over 27,500 cycles of objects grasping and releasing and an exceptionally high temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) of 8.3%/°C. These results point toward the versatility and high benefit/cost ratio of the laser engraving technique to produce sensors with a suitable performance for robotics and functional prosthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic skin; pressure; piezoresistivity; micro-structuration; temperature; laser engraving; molds; bimodal sensors; robotics; prosthesis electronic skin; pressure; piezoresistivity; micro-structuration; temperature; laser engraving; molds; bimodal sensors; robotics; prosthesis
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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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dos Santos, A.; Pinela, N.; Alves, P.; Santos, R.; Farinha, R.; Fortunato, E.; Martins, R.; Águas, H.; Igreja, R. E-Skin Bimodal Sensors for Robotics and Prosthesis Using PDMS Molds Engraved by Laser. Sensors 2019, 19, 899.

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