SensoForce in the IoT
An embedded pressure sensor is a smart, connected sensing device that collects pressure data and responds with some action. It is highly compatible with technologies integrated with the IoT (Internet of Things) – a wireless network of automated smart devices that communicate with one another, with little or no direct human intervention.
Hoffmann + Krippner’s SensoForce® is a flexible force sensing resistor, or FSR, that consists of conductive pastes printed onto thin polyester pads that create flat, lightweight and flexible electronic assemblies. The SensoForce® sensor is only 0.5 mm thick. The sensor changes voltage in response to pressure applied. Without any force applied, the pressure sensor will have a high resistance. The conductance of the sensor increases linearly (and therefore, resistance decreases) as a function of force within the sensor’s operating force range.
SensoForce and similar flexible FSR technologies can be embedded into systems or devices to perform a customized function. They can be programmed so that once a certain threshold pressure is reached on the sensor pad, the sensor will send a signal to a connected device to perform a corresponding action, such as triggering the air bags in a vehicle once a certain impact force has been surpassed.
Industrial IoT solutions often require multiple customized applications and services to address the needs of the various stakeholders with which it may interact. Therefore, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will make a part or subset of the connected system for another company’s end product. Design engineers carry out the system integration process to develop the final product. Industrial OEMs can benefit from IoT solutions by decreasing the time from development to product and improving the consumer experience. On that account, IoT solutions like printed and flexible sensors give companies a competitive advantage and is a strong area for investment.
Flexible construction and ink characteristics of Hoffmann + Krippner’s printed force sensors, manufactured in Germany, allow for custom-design tailored to customers’ specific needs. The product can interact with data acquisition electronics, and processing or analysis software. Today’s force measurement and pressure mapping software is highly specialized according to application, such as head impact software for concussion detection and tire analysis for improved tire design.
Pressure mapping technology can give real-time or recorded displays of the sensor data. It can display peak pressure and map relative and/or absolute force values across a surface area. The technology is useful for R&D to graph, plot, and visualize pressure distribution in 2D or 3D. Systems can also be calibrated to a known force for more precise data collection.
Examples of How Embedded Force Sensors Are Used Today (Industry / Functions)
Medical Devices / detection and automated drug delivery
Healthcare / bone implants and physical therapy
Robotics / grip strength and fine motor skills
Agriculture / irrigation and soil compaction
Industrial / packaging and printing
Automotive & Aerospace / parts design, ergonomics and safety
Research & Laboratories / product testing and scientific discovery
Find more information on our SensoForce, flexible force-sensing resistor, here.
To discuss your current IoT use case, please contact ROBIOTIC, the IoT division of the HK Group of companies.
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Ariadna is a junior at Cornell University studying Materials Science and Engineering. She is a staff writer for The Cornell Daily Sun and a member of the Nanoscale Materials for Energy Lab.