Flexible Multifunctional Sensors for Wearable and Robotic Applications

Mengying Xie, Kyohei Hisano, Mingzhu Zhu, Takuya Toyoshi, Min Pan, Shima Okada, Osamu Tsutsumi, Sadao Kawamura, Christopher Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

231 Citations (SciVal)
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This review provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art of the emerging field of flexible multifunctional sensors for wearable and robotic applications. In these application sectors, there is a demand for high sensitivity, accuracy, reproducibility, mechanical flexibility, and low cost. The ability to empower robots and future electronic skin (e-skin) with high resolution, high sensitivity, and rapid response sensing capabilities is of interest to a broad range of applications including wearable healthcare devices, biomedical prosthesis, and human–machine interacting robots such as service robots for the elderly and electronic skin to provide a range of diagnostic and monitoring capabilities. A range of sensory mechanisms is examined including piezoelectric, pyroelectric, piezoresistive, and there is particular emphasis on hybrid sensors that provide multifunctional sensing capability. As an alternative to the physical sensors described above, optical sensors have the potential to be used as a robot or e-skin; this includes sensory color changes using photonic crystals, liquid crystals, and mechanochromic effects. Potential future areas of research are discussed and the challenge for these exciting materials is to enhance their integration into wearables and robotic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800626
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • flexible electronics
  • multifunctional sensors
  • optical sensors
  • piezoelectric sensors
  • piezoresistive sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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