Within the STW project "Power Sensor – Power Glove" (STW project 10333) a miniature multi-axis force sensor has been developed to accurately measure the forces at the interface of the hand. This sensor has a force range of 60 Newton in normal direction and up to 30 Newton in shear direction while having a thickness of only 1 mm and a diameter of 9 mm. These dimensions make this sensor especially suitable for mounting on a fingertip and it is the first multi-axis miniature force sensor with such a large measurement range.
The sensor was originally realized for medical applications, but it has become apparent that many other applications exist. Compared to commercially available multi-axis force sensors with similar force range, the sensor volume is more than 10 times smaller. Fabrication of the sensor is based on silicon micromachining, which allows batch fabrication of large numbers of sensors on wafer-scale. Within the STW Demonstrator project "Miniature Six Degree-of-freedom Force and Moment Sensor" (STW project 13173) the sensor was further developed into a fully functional demonstrator device. The project has now resulted in a spin-off company Sensolution and we are actively looking for industrial partners to further commercialize the sensor.