Triboelectric Self-Powered Wearable Flexible Patch as 3D Motion Control Interface

V.C. Lee, Q. Shi, M. Zhu, T. Heb
National University of Singapore,

Keywords: triboelectric effect, self-powered, wearable, flexible, robotics


Triboelectric nanogenerators and sensors can be applied as human-machine interfaces to the next generation of intelligent and interactive products, where flexible tactile sensors exhibit great advantages for diversified applications such as robotic control. We present a self-powered, flexible, triboelectric sensor (SFTS) patch for finger trajectory sensing and further apply the collected information for robotic control. This innovative sensor consists of flexible and environmental friendly materials, i.e., starch-based hydrogel, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and silicone rubber. The sensor patch can be divided into a two-dimensional (2D) SFTS for in-plane robotic movement control and a one-dimensional (1D) SFTS for out-of-plane robotic movement control. The 2D-SFTS is designed with grid structure on top of the sensing surface to track the continuous sliding information of the fingertip, e.g., trajectory, velocity and acceleration with four circumjacent starch-based hydrogel PDMS elastomer (HPE) electrodes. Combining the 2D-SFTS with the 1D-SFTS, three-dimensional (3D) spatial information can be generated and applied to control the 3D motion of a robotic manipulator, and the real-time demonstration is successfully realized. With the facile design and very low-cost materials, the proposed SFTS shows great potential for the applications in robotics control, touch screens and electronic skins.