Sateco’s force sensor brings 3D to industry, AR/VR and medical keypads

Capacitive silicone sensor, SXTSC, is an elastomer sensor which works according to the capacitive operating principle and can continuously measure both touch and compressive force. It is soft and flexible, can be shaped three-dimensionally. It has been released by Sateco which says it can be used in various applications such as automotive, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), gaming, robotics, medical technology and general industry.

Both the sensor’s footprint and dimensions can be freely designed and can therefore be customised to curved surfaces. It can be integrated seamlessly between the body structure and surface for an ergonomic design of input devices, prostheses and exoskeletons, both on small and large surfaces, advises Sateco.

The sensor combines two measurement functions in one 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.

Silicone is gentle on the skin. Optional texturing of the surface can make it even more comfortable to wear. Another benefit is that silicone is chemical- and temperature-resistant to food. When used as a measuring cell, the sensor can be easily integrated directly in the surface away from a circuit board using electrical connectors. Its elastomer material makes additional damping, pre-load and tolerance compensation elements unnecessary. This simplifies the design and reduces manufacturing costs, adds Sateco.

The elastomer material means that the SXTSC sensor is robust, shock and impact-resistant. It also enables high durability, even in rough environments at high and low temperatures, from -40 to +85 degrees C.
Sateco provides samples, including evaluation electronics, in a starter kit.

The Sateco Group manufactures keypads and silicone sensors and actuators. The family owned company is headquartered in Schwerzenbach, Switzerland and maintains subsidiaries in Europe, the US, and Asia.

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