Leuven | More than two weeks ago
Mechanical and electrical characterization of a MEMS flexible triaxial force sensor
The fourth industrial revolution, driven by smart automation technologies, internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds. Fundamental changes took place in the supply network and in several environments where automated machines operate. The level of cooperation among robots and the interaction between robots and humans is continuously increasing.
Grasping objects is still a challenging task for service robots. In this context, triaxial force sensors provide the required tactile feedback to dexterously manipulate objects. During the functioning the involved movement usually induces large strains generation. Indeed, high flexibility is required for the employed sensors. Finally, size is a critical factor in robotic applications such as high precision manufacturing and surgery. MEMS technology provides required dimensions, extremely accurate and reliable fabrication processes. Therefore, it represents an ideal candidate to solve some of the crucial problems in this field.
Tactile sensors presented in literature are based on different performing principles. As a matter of fact, piezoresistive, piezoelectric and capacitive devices are adopted. In figure 1, a conceptual sketch of a piezoresistive triaxial force sensor is reported. It consists of 4 laser-induced graphene (LIG) cantilevers, inserted into an elastic protective body, on a flexible substrate made of Polyimide. The cantilevers deform under the normal and shear forces, consequently the mechanical strains induce an observed change of electrical resistance.
The goal of the present master thesis proposal is the characterization of a MEMS flexible triaxial force sensor. This project will give an opportunity to perform mechanical and electrical tests of a MEMS system, as well as to participate in development of the state-of-the art tactile sensors. Generally, this is a topic for students eager to understand complex systems with a hands-on attitude and interest for MEMS devices. High creativity is much appreciated. The work is estimated to be: 80% characterization, 20% data analysis.
Type of project: Thesis
Duration: 6-12 Months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Science
Required background: Mechanical Engineering, Electromechanical engineering
Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Gianluca Massimino (Gianluca.Massimino@imec.be) and Veronique Rochus (Veronique.Rochus@imec.be)