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Technical Information

Advanced pressure sensor made of 3D graphene foam

According to a paper published in the latest issue of the journal Advanced Engineering Materials, a Scottish research team has developed an advanced pressure sensor technology that can help improve robotic systems, such as for robotic prosthetics and robotic arms.

The research team led by the University of West Scotland (UWS) and Integrated Graphene Co., Ltd. is conducting a pioneering project on advanced sensors for robotic systems, aimed at developing accurate pressure sensors that provide tactile feedback and distributed touch, enhancing the capabilities of robots, and helping to improve their flexibility and motor skills.

Professor Des Gibson, Director of the UWS Film, Sensor, and Imaging Institute, and Chief Researcher of the project, said, "In recent years, the robot industry has made remarkable progress. However, due to a lack of perceptual ability, robot systems often cannot easily perform certain tasks. In order for robots to fully realize their potential, accurate pressure sensors that can provide greater tactile capabilities are needed."

The new sensor is made of 3D graphene foam, named GII, and has unique performance under mechanical pressure. The sensor uses piezoresistive method, which means that when the material is under pressure, it will dynamically change its resistance, which is easy to detect and adapt to the required pressure range from light to heavy.

It is reported that GII can simulate the sensitivity and feedback of human touch, which makes it suitable for various fields such as disease diagnosis and energy storage. This may have a revolutionary impact on a range of real-world applications of robots, from surgery to precision manufacturing.

Dr. Carlos Garcia Nunes of the UWS School of Computational Engineering and Physical Sciences added that pressure sensors are crucial components in robots and wearable electronic devices, whether they provide information input systems or impart human like operational skills to robotic systems. Advanced materials such as 3D graphene foam have great potential in such applications due to their excellent electrical, mechanical and chemical properties.

In the next stage, the research team will seek to further improve the sensitivity of sensors and make them more widely used in robotic systems.