Elastomer sensor by Sateco has grip and dexterity for cobots

Force sensors can offer feedback on the grip force to try to match a human hand’s dexterity to avoid damaging delicate and fragile objects. An elastomer sensor works to the capacitive operating principle and can continuously measure both touch and compressive force. It is soft and flexible, can be shaped three-dimensionally, and is suitable for various applications in agriculture, food, electronics, surgery and generally in cobots and prosthethics, says Sateco.

The company has developed a sensor whose which can be customised to curved surfaces and integrated seamlessly between the body structure and a soft surface. This enables an ergonomic design of robotic grippers, prostheses and exoskeletons on both small and large surfaces. Used on the surface of a body structure, the material feels similar to human skin, continues Sateco, and offers a soft and comfortable human machine interaction.

The sensor combines two measurement functions in a single component. It can detect the approximation of a body part at a short distance and precisely measure its exerted force as well. This keeps the combination compact and enables predictive operating and measurement systems.

The use of elastomer material makes the SXTSC sensor robust, shock- and impact-resistant and durable, even in rough environments at temperatures as high as +85°C and down to -40°C.

Silicone is gentle on the skin and optional texturing of the surface can make it even more comfortable to wear, explains Sateco. The material is also chemical and temperature-resistant for food handling.

The material’s flexibility makes it particularly compliant to soft and fragile object, helping in a variety of tasks where delicate handling is required, for example in automated harvesting, packing and labelling of fruits and vegetable.

Sateco offers a starter kit with evaluation electronics, describing it as a quick and uncomplicated start into the new technology.

The Sateco Group manufactures keypads, and silicone sensors and actuators. It combines years of expertise and innovative technology with customised solutions, for controls and switches.

The family-owned company is headquartered in Schwerzenbach, Switzerland and maintains subsidiaries in Europe, the U.S., and Asia.


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