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Flexible, highly sensitive pressure sensor (Energy-Generating Rubber)

A highly sensitive pressure sensor made of a soft and lightweight rubber sheet

Background

Many technologies are commonly used to grasp the state of people and things, security cameras for example.
Yet there are situations where such technologies cannot be used due to privacy issues and limitations of the monitoring range—for instance, when tracking the movement of many people in a public place or detecting accidents and troubles at homes and institutions.

Ricoh is developing sensors based on Energy-Generating Rubber aiming at monitoring conditions in such places.

Solutions

The technology will enable us to overview the state of people and things over a wide area.
Examples: Detecting seat occupancy in trains and halls, security systems at homes and nursing-care institutions, and managing traffic lines

Energy-Generating Rubber sensors are installed in each seat.
As the person sits down and stands up, electrical signals are turned on and off. Thus, seat occupancy is detected.

Technical highlights

Ricoh is developing energy-generating rubber, an original material that generates electricity with mechanical strain such as pressure or vibration.
It is a very soft sheet; it detects even a slight pressure and generates electricity.

The primary features of energy-generating rubber are:

  • A flexible, lightweight sheet about 0.1 mm thick
  • High sensitivity to generate electrical signals from even a very small movement of a person
  • Wide range of applications from small devices to large-area sensors

Ricoh's vision

Ricoh intends to exploit the unique flexibility and sensitivity of the material and provide a wide range of sensors and related solutions to make the society more secure and convenient.

Related information

(Exhibition) nano tech 2016, the 15th International Nanotechnology Exhibition & Conference

(News release)“Energy-Generating Rubber” Combines Flexibility and High-Output