Tactile sensors are data acquisition devices designed to sense, detect, and measure a range of properties, including texture, hardness, and shape via direct physical contact. While these sensors have many advantages over other technologies, their implementation has been hindered by sensor complexity and requiring direct contact with the surface or object, leading to wear and the risk of damage.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have developed a novel soft tactile sensor for robotics, prosthetics, biomedical devices, and intelligent devices. The soft sensor uses a ferromagnetic/ferrofluid enclosed with an elastic silicone capsule to measure and sense changes in the magnetic field as the capsule is deflected/displaced. Compared to other types of sensors, these liquid sensors are compact, durable, accurate, of high bandwidth, manufactured at low cost, and can be designed in various shapes and sizes.