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Tactile Sensor Arrays Conform to Fit Human Needs

Originally Published MPMN May 2002


Tactile Sensor Arrays Conform to Fit Human Needs

Susan Wallace

A conformable sensor makes it possible to measure pressure and touch in places not previously possible, such as on the curved surfaces of the human body. Pressure Profile Systems Inc. (Los Angeles; offers the T-2000 tactile sensor system that uses a conformable array of pressure sensors to quantify the sense of touch. The sensor bends and forms to fit complex shapes such as the human hand, tool handles, joystick controls, or feet.

Because it is a complete hardware and software system, the T-2000 is sensitive enough to acquire data such as the human pulse felt at skin level, and flexible enough to check the fit of a helmet, shoe, or prosthetic device.

The system is based on the company's proprietary TactArray technology, originally developed for use in tactile gloves for surgical data acquisition. The technology uses capacitive pressure sensors instead of resistive sensors, which require multiple calibrations during a single session. The T-2000 can continuously deliver reliable data after only one initial calibration. This results in fast, repeatable data collection.

A single T-2000 can be configured with 16 to 256 sensor elements in array sizes up to almost 6 sq in. System specifications include full-scale ranges of 3, 12, or 30 psi, 0.15% static noise, and 1.0% nonlinearity. Pressure sensitivity is controlled by the user.

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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