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Vibratory force sensors are fabricated using piezoelectric capacitors on microcantilever structures for triaxial sensitivity by the individual sensor element. The cantilevers have been formed into a 3-D curved shape by controlling residual stress combination of the multilayered structure. Triaxial tactile sensitivity of the cantilever sensor is analyzed under a tactile load application onto the surface of an elastomer in which the cantilever is embedded, mimicking human skin structure. The cantilever is converse-piezoelectrically excited by an external ac voltage and three resonant modes are developed to detect the applied load vector components by the single sensor element. Resonant frequency shifts of each mode are investigated upon load applications. The results show that the frequencies vary to the three axial tactile loads independently and they can be superposed with corresponding to the superposition of the load components. The applied load vectors are estimated by resonant frequencies of the single cantilever sensor with compensating nonlinearities of the sensor response. The estimated error is less than 1.1% to the full scale of the load ±4 kPa.
Date of Publication: March 2013