Tactile close distance sensing
Industrial solutions for production
The development of applications for Industry 4.0, Smart Health, Smart Security and Automotive is characterised by the increasing use of intelligent interactive systems. Safe sensory information acquisition and the exchange of information from objects and surfaces in the near-distance and contact range are essential here. Application fields such as sensitive and precise gripping, handling, orientation and positioning of objects in robotics, enhanced human sensory perception (augmented reality, artificial skin) as well as 3D environment sensing (depth-resolved gesture sensing, contactless switches) require a high information density in real time with energy-efficient AI-supported sensor networks.
Optical and capacitive methods available on the market lack spatially continuous and precise detection of the environment as well as a combined tactile mode. Fraunhofer IPMS is pursuing a multimodal sensor concept for ultrasound-based tactile close-range monitoring. The sensor platform developed enables the integration of tactile and proximity sensors on one chip module for the first time, thus offering increased information density. The CMOS-compatible capacitive micromechanical ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) in combination with integrable electronics form the basis for making cost-effective and energy-efficient multimodal sensors in a small installation space with high sensitivity and integrated signal processing available to the market.