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A new generation of sensing technology is launched in Shenzhen, and "perceived skin" is used to solve the problem of "stuck neck" in the manufacturing industry丨Looking for Shenzhen high-precision new

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  • Time of issue:2021-06-01 17:16
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【Summary】:On a thin and transparent "paper", press it up with your hand, and enter all the force results and the force process

A new generation of sensing technology is launched in Shenzhen, and "perceived skin" is used to solve the problem of "stuck neck" in the manufacturing industry丨Looking for Shenzhen high-precision new

(Summary description)On a thin and transparent "paper", press it up with your hand, and enter all the force results and the force process

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  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2021-06-01 17:16
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On a thin and transparent "paper", press it up with your hand, and enter all the force results and the force process. This technology solves the "stuck neck" problem that is common in the field of pressure measurement in the manufacturing industry.

In 2018, Pan Tingrui and Wang Xiaoyang, a high school classmate, joined hands with the Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to establish TacSense Technology, and developed a new generation of flexible tactile sensing technology-ionized sensing technology. This technology has been successfully industrialized. Introduced flexible tactile sensors used in consumer electronics, medical equipment and other fields.

"TacSense is slowly going through time. In the early ten years, it has been running slowly, and it has been running for a long time. It is not known to the market. The products of TacSense have been on the market in less than one year, and our industrial products have been sold. In less than a year, consumer electronics have sold even shorter times." Wang Xiaoyang told Southern + reporters.

A new generation of sensing technology takes root in Shenzhen

In the 1970s, the team of German botanical taxonomy scientist William Bartlett discovered the "lotus effect". Professor Pan Tingrui, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, has keenly discovered that when tiny droplets fall on the surface of the lotus leaf, they will vibrate significantly. So I thought: If the faint vibrating details of the lotus droplets can be accurately measured, can a very sensitive sensor be made on a flexible surface? In 2012, Pan Tingrui first proposed a new sensing technology-ionized sensing technology.

In 2018, the principle of ionized sensor proposed by Professor Pan Tingrui was listed as the fourth type of sensor principle after the principle of resistance sensor, capacitance sensor and piezoelectric sensor by the internationally renowned journal "Lab on a Chip". The sensor principle proposed by Chinese scientists for the first time.

According to classification, pressure sensors that convert tactile pressure into electrical signals include piezoresistive, capacitive, and piezoelectric types. The piezoresistive sensor has a short board that is not sensitive enough in the force dimension. Although the capacitive sensor improves the sensitivity, it brings high cost and insufficient flexibility when solving the environmental noise problem. Piezoelectric sensors can only measure dynamic pressure, not static pressure.

In terms of sensitivity, mechanical response speed, noise resistance, flexibility, manufacturing cost, and low power consumption, the ionized sensor is far superior to the technical route of the existing flexible sensor. The sensing principle of the ionized sensor is not to obtain the external pressure through the deformation of the contact membrane, but to sense the external pressure through the change of the contact area between the coated and cured ion gel and the conductive electrode.


Pan Tingrui (right), Wang Xiaoyang (left) and Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan.  Photo courtesy of the interviewee.

Pan Tingrui (right), Wang Xiaoyang (left) and Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan. Photo courtesy of the interviewee.

Science and technology are placed in the laboratory and cannot achieve real social value. Professor Pan Tingrui established TacSense in Silicon Valley as early as 2013, and did some exploration work on application implementation, but it has not been able to industrialize it. So Pan Tingrui returned to China to start a business. In 2017, Pan Tingrui and Wang Xiaoyang, another high school classmate, met in Beijing under the influence of Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou, a high school classmate. Wang Xiaoyang has an investment management background and can integrate company operations, capital operations, and underlying technology empowerment. The two hit it off.

In 2018, TacSense Technology was established and received support from the Pearl River Plan of Guangdong Province. Wang Xiaoyang believes that Shenzhen's good hardware supply chain environment is the reason for choosing Shenzhen. All kinds of production materials and parts of TacSense can be purchased in the Greater Bay Area, and product proofing can also be solved quickly.

One of the things that impressed Wang Xiaoyang was the broad future of ionized sensors. The Internet of Things is the era of the Internet of Everything. There are countless hardware smart terminals, so there is room for countless sensors. Disconnected sensors are one of the basic tools of the Internet of Things, so TacSense Technology is a technology-based company that enables the underlying technology. At present, the company's R&D technology has matured, and it has mastered many key technologies such as ionization sensing, signal processing, wireless transmission, flexible processing, biological modeling and algorithms required by the bionic tactile sensing system. The academic journals in China have published more than 200 high-level scientific and technological papers and applied for more than 30 patents. The company's next step is to focus on marketing and project standardization program output.

Tactile simulation empowers intelligent production inspection

The core technology of TacSense Technology is a touch sensor. It has ultra-high sensitivity and flexibility, ultra-thin and ultra-small curved surfaces and biocompatibility. It can accurately measure various pressures inside and outside the human body. The difficulty is concentrated on the bionic medium.TacSense Technology can do it. Great technological breakthroughs have been achieved in silica gel, cloth, paper and other media.

Wang Xiaoyang introduced that in recent years, TacSense has done two things: one is sinking in the medical field, launching a capsule gastroscopy robot and big health shoes. The capsule gastroscope robot can enter the human body to detect the gastrointestinal condition (with a small video), and has entered the clinical trial stage, while the big health wearable shoes are used in Parkinson's patients and have been certified by the US FDA.

The second is the introduction of pressure measurement equipment in the industrial field. For example, panels in industrial production are often laminated with multiple layers of substrates. The forces on these layers of substrates must be very uniform, because the contact pressure between the substrates has a great impact on product performance, especially the overall The pressing of the frame has extremely high technical precision, which has given birth to products that detect equipment pressure.

The traditional product is pressure-sensitive paper, and a box of pressure-sensitive paper can reach more than RMB 3,000. Wang Xiaoyang introduced that the Chinese market has been monopolized by Japan's Fuji in the past 30 years, with nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars in imports a year. Nearly 10 years ago, foreign electronic pressure testing equipment entered the Chinese market, and there were also tens of millions of dollars in market sales a year.

The results of pressure measurement of TacSense technology equipment can be digitized.

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Photography: Nanfang Daily Li Ronghua Wang Xiaoyang

A domestic mobile phone assembly has always used a foreign pressure measuring device, but the measuring device's sensing diaphragm needs to be replaced every six months. Later, because the foreign company actively decoupled and could not be replaced, the company had to switch to more expensive and more traditional pressure sensitive paper. After understanding this demand, Titanium has launched a new pressure distribution measuring instrument through more than one year of research and development, which will be officially delivered in the second half of 2020. The customer’s market feedback is positive and it directly enters the Apple supply chain company to protect Apple products. Stable and reliable production of key components.

It is reported that the standard model of electronic pressure testing equipment of foreign companies is 40,000 US dollars, and the market price of the standard products of Titanium is about 100,000 yuan.

Wang Xiaoyang introduced that the TacSense pressure distribution measuring instrument and pressure sensitive paper are the difference between a digital camera and a film. The pressure test process can be recorded through the TacSense product. A lot of industrial statistical analysis can be done during playback, such as how the center of gravity changes. The pressure-sensitive paper is a one-off, but the paper reflects the final force result, which cannot reflect the force process. Moreover, Titanium products can convert analog-to-digital signals to achieve online monitor.

"TacSense has picked up the markets that foreign companies have actively decoupled." Wang Xiaoyang introduced that Tishen's pressure distribution measuring instrument has realized independent innovation and import substitution, and it is replaced by completely different technical routes, patents and products, and provides The secondary development interface contributes to the integration of domestically produced Liwei intelligent equipment.

In Wang Xiaoyang's view, to achieve import substitution, one needs to reduce costs, and the other needs to increase "degree of customization." Enterprises need to be customized according to the customer's application scenarios. The demand for intelligent equipment of the force dimension is actually ubiquitous, which is a strategic direction for China as a major manufacturing country. He introduced that even the TacSense sensor membrane material suppliers now use the TacSense pressure distribution measuring instrument to supply the membrane material to ensure the consistency of the membrane material quality.

▲Demonstration of pressure measurement by TacSense Technology

"Invisible sensors" become a necessity for the Internet of Things

TacSense tactile sensor measures "contact surface changes", so contact is required. This is the technical principle of bionic tactile, and its core technical feature is supercapacitance, that is, the capacitance change has a very large response to the force dimension change. That is, subtle changes in the force surface can cause very large capacitance changes of the TacSense sensor. Therefore, the TacSense sensor is a particularly sensitive technology that can reduce misjudgments and easily extract the signal from the noise.

Moreover, the TacSense sensor material has true flexibility. It is a completely transparent liquid material and can be used when it is coated on common flexible substrates such as plastic, cloth, and rubber, like a layer of "sensing skin". "We used to make sensor materials on the non-woven fabric of yoga clothes, which can be linked with sports apps online and offline.

Now, TacSense pressure measurement technology, another larger application scenario is new energy batteries, enabling lithium battery manufacturers to have intelligent pressure detection capabilities. The battery equipment industry must ensure the uniformity of the battery pressing process and the accuracy of the contact pressure of each key component, so as to achieve the production of higher energy density batteries and lower battery swelling and other failure risks.

Pan Tingrui believes that now is a good market window for the development of tactile sensors. Because artificial intelligence, edge computing, cloud, etc. have all developed, it is the transition period from the Internet of Everything to the Intelligent Connection of Everything. The Internet of Things terminal has led to a boom in demand for various sensors.

"Now, every new wave of intelligence emerges, and new application scenarios of TacSense can be discovered. The company internally describes the ionization sensor technology as a hammer to smash the nails of different new application scenarios. Which nail If it is attractive enough, TacSense will hit which one is deep first.” Wang Xiaoyang said.

Wang Xiaoyang believes that the lack of technology is due to long-term accumulation.

"Because the sensor materials are independently developed, we do not have any key technology that is controlled by others. We can be regarded as a 10-year sword, and the light from the ionized material to the flexible substrate of the sensor has been completed from 2010 to 2013. That is to say, it took 4 years for the mass production technology of liquid materials on various thin film substrates. From 2013 to 2015, it took 3 years to focus on promoting the analog-to-digital signal conversion of sensors, including the independent design of IC chips."

Moreover, TacSense has continued to "contract" the entire chain of its tactile sensor industrialization. In the past 10 years, TacSense Technology has polished all links in the industrial chain, providing customized solution support and algorithm support based on standard sensors, and providing complete integrated services for customers in the three directions of medical equipment, industrial equipment and consumer electronics.

"Our employees now go to the customer's assembly line every day to guide assembly production, do mass production assembly, and provide structural assembly instructions so that customers can fully integrate TacSense products." Wang Xiaoyang said.

Enterprise File

TacSense Technology

Project introduction: A high-tech start-up company that develops and owns the world's first flexible electronic tactile sensing technology, and provides the world's most sensitive and flexible man-machine sensing and interactive interface.

Team members: founder Pan Tingrui, founder Wang Xiaoyang

Financing status: There have been three rounds. In September 2020, it received tens of millions of RMB in A+ round of financing, with Xiaomi Yangtze River Industry Fund leading the investment, and Lenovo Ventures as a follow-up investment. On December 10, 2019, Tishen Technology received a Pre-A round of financing of tens of millions of RMB. The investors were Tongchuang Weiye, Zhao Hui, and Yuandu Venture Capital. On September 30, 2018, TacSense Technology received an angel round of financing. The amount was not disclosed. The investor was Yuandu Venture Capital.

Official version 3

Wang Xiaoyang

We are all contributing to this matter of industry-university-research linkage. At the strategic level of industry-university-research integration, there must be high-rise buildings to pave the way, otherwise pure social funds cannot afford to wait, cannot afford to gamble, and cannot afford time and risks.

For companies, now that new markets are born every day, the key is to seize opportunities. For example, why are earphones, especially wireless earphones, so popular nowadays. The source is that mobile phone manufacturers do not have earphones. They are made alive by the market. Earphones have become a separate category and a freely competitive market. In the future, if you don't send mobile phone chargers, I believe there will be a lot of smart charging hardware companies soon.

Now the market has new products coming out every day and new demands coming out every day. Whoever catches a mouse first is a good cat. But at the same time, the life cycle of these products will be shorter. If you want to extend the life cycle of products or electronic components, there will be a phenomenon of fusion between electronic components. For example, a "two-in-one" chip is always better than a single-core chip. The cycle is a bit longer, and so far, "three-in-one" (touch, ear, pressure detection) products have actually appeared on headphones. .

We pay attention to iterative innovation in the electronics market. First of all, we must have a very good market sensitivity and a very strong product execution ability. Therefore, the TacSense team is constantly iterating and growing.

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