Reliable mechatronic indicator for self-powered liquid sensing toward smart manufacture and safe transportation

Jie An, Ziming Wang, Tao Jiang, Pengfei Chen, Xi Liang, Jiajia Shao, Jinhui Nie, Minyi Xu, Zhong Lin Wang; Materials Today, Volume 41, Pages 10-20, ISSN 1369-7021.


In the era of industry 4.0, mechanical indicators are in great demand for providing reliable information in a harsh environment with a self-powered signal transmission ability for connecting into a centralized automatic control network of ships, trucks, and factories. In this work, based on the principle of nanogenerator, we report a block-inserting mechatronic (BIM) panel employed as not only a mechanical indicator with long operation lifetime, versatile adaptability, and improved reliability under harsh working conditions, but also an active electronic sensor for self-powered liquid information indicating and sensing. The methodology of block-inserting assembly significantly simplifies the processing costs and difficulties, which facilitates length-customization of the whole device. When equipped with the BIM panel, computer control and monitoring systems realize wireless control and real-time monitoring of liquids in miscellaneous industrial applications. This work lays the foundation of nanogenerator-based sensors applied in industrial systems, which will strongly promote the progress of industry 4.0, smart cities, and transportation.