Since Mr. Simmons and Mr. Ruge invented the strain gauge in 1938, we met with several types of force sensing devices. Some of them were based on new technologies but the mainstream has been using the same basic principles for 75 year.
Is that all we can create? If we look around on the market, we either see some small companies doing experiments with expensive, sensitive and fragile technologies just to find a small niche which is not filled by the big players, or we see those big guns who are producing hundreds of thousands of those boring strain gauge load cells for decades. We start to have the feeling that the biggest players are not interested in changing this situation and became heavy obstacles of creativity and innovation. Both groups have one thing in common: all aim to get into the enormous market of industrial automation and to the playground where the useless humanoid robots that costed millions of USD play soccer just for fun.
Silicone force sensor - smash with a hammer
No! If we want to change something and not just say but prove that robots are here to help us... it is not the right way. We should think of a simple and cheap technology which destroys the walls between industry and everyday life. A 3D sensor can be built into every shoe that could optimize our energy when walking. To every smart phone for better user experience, to every toothbrush for improved performance, to everywhere where force feedback is missing currently, and yes, besides the thousands of other applications, into humanoids robots as well.
3-Axis Force Sensor
We believe OptoForce made the first step by inventing a new, simple and cheap 3 and 6 D force sensing technology based purely on optics. This design allows robust, dust and waterproof sensors which open many new doors for possible applications. Dear Engineers and Innovation Managers… if you want to think about it... this is the right time.