Tactile sensors are also called touch sensors and are sensitive to factors like temperature, pressure, and touch. They are designed to collect data from humans and surroundings and generate the necessary information using measuring instruments attached to them. Over the last few years, these tactile sensors have shown immense improvement and use in various industries.

Wearable tactile sensors are wearable devices designed to accommodate hard surfaces without causing damage to the device. Due to their structure and their application, they are primarily used in the Internet Of Things.

What are tactile sensors?

tactile sensors

Tactile sensors are novel data acquisition devices designed to detect the slightest of external factors like touch, pressure, vibration, temperature, etc. The information acquired can be translated into intelligent systems for analysis. Wearable tactile sensors have a higher advantage, as opposed to the regular sensors available in the market. Their rigidity and solid form prevent free movement and are fragile to external pressure. Hence, the consumers might not have to compromise on the following:

  • Robustness
  • Durability
  • Rigidity

Many scientists and researchers in biomedical engineering addressed these challenges. They created an alternative sensor device that works on the liquid-based pressure sensing method, which is highly used in most tactile sensor devices.

Characteristics of wearable tactile sensors

  • The use of diverse and user-friendly functional materials
  • The sensitive sensing mechanism
  • Used in diverse applications
  • Used for various performance optimizing strategies
  • Employs more than one sensing options
  • Integration of the device to different other systems

Liquid-based pressure sensor

Most wearable tactile sensor devices today follow liquid-based pressure sensing technology. The micro-fields present in the sensors are fabricated on surfaces like silicone rubber that are incredibly flexible, and it also uses nanomaterial suspensions that are non-corrosive. For instance, graphene oxide is a good example which is also used to represent a pressure sensing element that recognizes even the slightest force applied.

These devices proved their versatility in the invention when they were subjected to various tests, including pressure, stretching, and bending. They were also subjected to multiple abusive forces like being placed under cars etc., and still proved their quality when unharmed.

The idea of wearables

Although tactile sensors were already in use in everyday household items, robotics, and biomedical industries, the introduction of wearables has opened a new spectrum of markets. Tactile sensor wearables are predominantly used in the biomedical industry, where the device may be subjected to human touch and skin.

Advantages of tactile sensor wearables

  • Due to the gap in the market for wearables, the introduction of tactile sensors has also opened a new arena for users.
  • Since these devices are flexible and durable, they are used mainly by the general public to monitor body movements.
  • It is used in healthcare industries to micro-monitor patients in the hospital.