DIY Bend Sensor

Today in Field Mali wanted a sensor that would fit inside her cube and would sense when the fluffy cube she is making is being squeezed and then carry-out an action such as light up or make sounds etc. After asking Paul whether he had any and discovering he did not I set about trying to make one, I found several tutorials on-line and chose what seemed like a pretty well written Instructables. It’s at the link below.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Bi-Directional-Flex-Sensors/?ALLSTEPS 

I gave it a go. I managed to get all the materials fine, except the copper foil laminate. I got some copper foil, but it was SUPER thin and had adhesive on one side (sticky back foil). I assembled the whole thing and fit it snugly into the  heat shrink tubing, all wired up.

IMGP2607

When I took a reading with the volt metre it was conducting current really well, but when I bent the strip gently or severely the value either changed erratically, fluctuating up and down wildly or did not change at all. So it didn’t work. I’v put it down too :

  • a) the copper being adhesive coated on one side
  • b) there was much spring in the sensor, it was built around a resistive material that did not have enough spring and (yes, rather stupidly) much “bend”.

I shall return to the drawing board and have another go. I had fun though, I think I may experiment with making more of my own sensors in the future…

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