Tooth-Inspired Tactile Sensor for Detection of Multidirectional Force

Micromachines (Basel). 2018 Dec 29;10(1):18. doi: 10.3390/mi10010018.


The anatomy of a tooth was the inspiration for this tactile sensor study. The sensor consisted of a pole that was fixed in the middle of an acrylic base using a viscoelastic silicone elastomer. Four strain gauges were fixed three-dimensionally around the pole to detect its movement, which was formed in a single step in the assembly. When the load was applied to the side of the pole, the strain gauges were bent or released, depending on the direction of the applied load and the position of the strain gauges. The sensor device had the sensitivity of 0.016 mm-1 and 0.313 N-1 against the resistance change ratio. For the load detection experiment, a consistent pattern of full sine-curve, with a constant resistance change for the angles, was obtained for all of the four strain gauges, which confirmed the reliability of the sensor device to detect the direction of applied load. The amplitudes of the resistance change ratio remained to be consistent after loading-unloading processes at the frequency of 0.05⁻0.25 Hz.

Keywords: bio-inspired; biomimetic; force sensor; tactile sensor; three-dimensional; tooth.