Electro-Hydro-Dynamic (EHD) printing is a flexible multi-modal sensor fabrication method because of its direct printing capability of a wide range of materials onto substrates with non-uniform topographies. In past work we designed interdigitated comb electrodes as a sensing element and printed piezoresistive strain sensors using customized EHD printable PEDOT:PSS based inks. We formulated a PEDOT:PSS derivative ink, by mixing PEDOT:PSS and DMSO. Bending induced characterization tests of prototyped sensors showed high sensitivity and sufficient stability.
In this paper, we describe SkinCells, robot skin sensor arrays integrated with electronic modules. 4x4 EHD-printed arrays of strain sensors was packaged onto Kapton sheets and silicone encapsulant and interconnected to a custom electronic module that consists of a microcontroller, Wheatstone bridge with adjustable digital potentiometer, multiplexer, and serial communication unit. Thus, SkinCell’s electronics can be used for signal acquisition, conditioning, and networking between sensor modules. Several SkinCells were loaded with controlled pressure, temperature and humidity testing apparatuses, and testing results are reported in this paper.