Alps Alpine Develops Force Sensor with High Impact Resistance

Alps Alpine Develops Force Sensor with High Impact Resistance

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Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of high-quality electronic products, has added the HSFPAR004A Force Sensor to its lineup. The sensor enhances impact resistance while maintaining the industry’s smallest size*1) and offers high linearity and high resolution, which makes it ideal for use in stylus pens and other input devices.

These days, electronic blackboards and tablets are being used on several occasions, such as school sessions and company meetings. Therefore, demand for pen-shaped devices (stylus pen), which are mostly used for the purpose of working creatively – including digital drawing and painting – has been growing. Stylus pens, or styli, contain force sensors that trace the trajectory of the pen tip and then reproduce different thicknesses in the artwork corresponding to the pressure applied. Styli require a sensor with high resolution and linearity, but also need to be sturdy enough to not break when the pen is unintentionally dropped.

The HSFPAR004A lives up to these requirements because it maintains the features of already existing products for high linearity (<2%FS), high resolution (detects micro force with less than 0.01 N), and small size of 2.00 mm × 1.60 mm × 0.66 mm (W×D×H), while at the same time realizing an improvement in impact resistance of up to 55 N. The sensor offers an operating life of 1,000,000 cycles and is resistant to external magnetic and electric fields. Besides its use in input devices, the sensor is suitable for industrial machines handling precision equipment and a range of diverse applications, especially on the grip parts of robot arms for precision grip force adjustments.

Key Features

  • High impact resistance proved by a breaking load of 55 N
  • Detects micro force of less than 0.01 N
  • Long operating life of more than 1 million cycles
  • Resistant to external magnetic fields and electric fields

The improved impact resistance of the sensor is achieved with the extension of the actuator diameter of the sensing zone*2) from the existing 0.20 mm to the new 0.40 mm, while at the same time keeping the rounded peripheral edge to disperse impacts. Therefore, the breakage risk of the sensor in stylus pens is reduced in case the pen is unintentionally dropped, while still guaranteeing smooth pen pressure expression without spoiling the easy integration into end products. Mass production has been underway since March.

*1 According to Alps Alpine Research, March 2019
*2 Tip of a sensor receiving stress (also called knob)

Demo Video

Additional Resources

  • Find more detailed technical data about the HSFPAR series on our product page

Mike is the founder and editor of Electronics-Lab.com, an electronics engineering community/news and project sharing platform. He studied Electronics and Physics and enjoys everything that has moving electrons and fun. His interests lying on solar cells, microcontrollers and switchmode power supplies. Feel free to reach him for feedback, random tips or just to say hello :-)

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