What is a Flex Sensor used for?

A flex sensor or bend sensor is a sensor that detects a deflection, bend, on an actuator or surface that is flexing, hinging, or in some cases twisting. Generally, the sensor is adhered to the surface or connected at each end while free floating in the middle, and the resistance of the sensor component is changed by flexing the surface. Since the resistance is directly relative to how much bend there is, they are often utilized as goniometers, and occasionally called flexible potentiometers.
Some common uses are found in:
  • Robotics & articulation sensing in manufacturing
  • Pressure bulge sensing or expansion detection
  • Human machine interface devices like datagloves (a novel example being the 1980s Nintendo Power glove which our sensors were featured in)
  • Another human interface use is in rehabilitation equipment to monitor joint activity & range of mobility
  • Any application where something hinges, swings, opens/closes, bends, flexes, or otherwise deflects from an original flexed or unflexed position.

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