Development of polyimide-based flexible tactile sensing skin

Jonathan Engel*, Jack Chen, Chang Liu, Bruce R. Flachsbart, John C. Selby, Mark A. Shannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We present a novel microfabrication process for realizing a new type of flexible sensory "smart skin". In this work, we focus on demonstration of a skin containing a two dimensional array of tactile sensors using polyimide and metal strain gauges. A novel polymer microfabrication approach coupled with surface release methods is demonstrated. The process yields flexible sensory skins in a low cost, efficient manner. Experimental characterization of the devices is also presented. The demonstrated sensors use metal-film strain gauges in a multiplexed two-dimensional array of tactile pixels (taxels) embedded in a polyimide thin film membrane to detect force distribution on the flexible skin. The arrays have been used to image force distributions and could be used with slip-detection friction measurement for robotic gripping application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
EventElectronics on Unconventional Substrates-Electrotextiles and Giant-Area Flexible Circuits - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Dec 2 2002Dec 3 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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