WiForce, an exciting new wireless force sensor!


Motivation

Sensing contact forces on a continuum has far-reaching applications, in the field of non-invasive surgery, HCI and robotics. Current sensing solutions need to run a wire till each force sensor, a solution that doesnt scale well. To this end, we build a wireless continuum sensor surface, which encodes the force information directly onto the ambient wireless signals. This enables a new class of force sensor design, free of any sortof wires, niether to communicate data or to power up the sensor.


Beam bending based force transduction

The key idea WiForce tries to build upon, is that any object will deform under the action of a force, and what if these deformations are encoded in wireless signals. WiForce takes a flexible skin like layer, which deforms and bends as force is applied, with these deformations being encoded onto the reflections of the incoming wireless signals.

Prototype hardware


We design our WiForce sensor by augmenting a microstrip line with a soft polymer beam, and the wireless feedback is achieved by connecting an antenna, to the polymer beam.


Publications

WiForce: Wireless Sensing and Localization of Contact Forces on a Space Continuum [Slides]
Agrim Gupta, Cedric Girerd, Manideep Dunna, Qiming Zhang, Raghav Subbaraman, Tania K. Morimoto, Dinesh Bharadia
NSDI 2021

Towards a Wireless Force Sensor Based on Wave Backscattering for Medical Applications
Cedric Girerd (co-primary), Qiming Zhang (co-primary), Agrim Gupta, Manideep Dunna, Dinesh Bharadia, Tania K Morimoto
IEEE Sensors Journal