A bio-inspired whisker sensor based on triboelectric nanogenerators

Xinyu Wang; Peng Xu; Zhi Ma; Siyuan Wang; Guangming Xie; Minyi Xu; 2020 35th Youth Academic Annual Conference of Chinese Association of Automation (YAC),pp. 105-109.


Perceptual sensors play a crucial role in the next generation of robots due to their potential application in agriculture, biomedicine and industry fields. In this field, with dependence on visual, auditory and tactile techniques, sensors are utilized to intelligently assess their environment. Here, this study investigates a bio-inspired whisker sensor with self-power capability based on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) for building an robotic perceptual system. The whisker sensor is composed of cylindrical structure house (52mm in height and 10mm in diameter), a PTFE pellet fixed to the spring-fixed base, four copper (Cu) films attached symmetrically to inner of house, and memory alloys (50mm in length). Generally, the displacement of the whisker rod causes the change in voltage in four direction because of generated tensile. From experiments to data analysis and modeling, the sensor is characterized by simple structure, convenient fabrication, high sensitivity and self power supply without external power supply. Thus, this 3D printable self-powered whisker sensor should be applicable to a wide range of automaton applications.