Let's Make Robots!

Touch Sensor - 3D Printed (Cost effective Displacement type)

Gets you in touch with the world

This is a displacement resistance type touch sensor.

It uses conductive foam as the resistive element.

If you would like to see a video Walk-through

of how to build the Sensor it can be found right here >>>



Good news is :- When this foam is contained and paralleled up it becomes amazingly responsive and repeatable..

The resistance can be easily tailored and tweaked to your needs.

This is what you will need :-
Firstly a pair of these of these 3D printed parts :-
Touch Sensor - Cost effective Displacement type

You will need a simple A4 paper Hole puncher.

A small sheet of flat thin copper (or tin at a pinch ... just remember that a wire has to be soldered to it)

A small piece of "Conductive Foam" , this foam is commonly found as an antistatic foam used for shipping integrated circuit chips. It is a black foam - if you are not sure then just probe it with a multimeter turned to the "Ohms" scale..(remember that different foams will have different qualities and resistances)

Use the hole punch to punch 4 to 6 cylinders of the conductive foam.

Use the hole punch to punch 2 discs out of the copper sheet.

Feed some wire into the 3D printed base and plunger.
Solder the Wire (I used CAT5 Ethernet inner wires - as they are plentiful and easy to come by and they have a good threading ability ) onto each of the copper disks.

Feed the conductive foam carefully into the base unit until you get the desired feel of the touchiness (or resistance value)

Insert the plunger into the base units and "There You Go" a Resistive Displacement Touch Sensor.

I attached some NeoPixels to give some direct indication of the state of the sensor..... "Shine_ing"

That is it, now just use your imagination for some applications...

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Tnxs for the "Heads_Up" basile.... its even better than my write up.....

Very nice Gareth. Only now did I realize that the foam that holds a couple of my ICs is conductive! Great stuff.

Thank you Gareth!!! seems like this could be useful on robot arms, hands.....