Custom flex sensors


Flex sensors, like the ones used in the Nintendo Power Glove, are generally expensive and hard to find. However, [jiovine] demonstrates that they are easy enough to make from spare parts. He sandwiched a strip of plastic from ESD bags between pieces of copper foil, and wrapped the whole thing in heat shrink tubing. The sensor is able to detect bends in either direction, unlike the original power glove sensors. His version had a nominal resistance of about 20k ohms, but by choosing a different resistive layer you could create sensors that are more or less resistive.

Related: 5-cent tilt sensor


  1. Xeracy says:

    there are also ductape+conductive thread diy flex sensors on the sidebar of that instructable. this one however, seems much more robust.

  2. docwhl says:

    Its posts like these which are why I keep coming back to Hackaday. Very cool guys, thanks

  3. Tachikoma says:

    nice – i would be interested to see a plot of resistance vs flex angle, or something similar.

  4. anonymous says:

    I love these diy sensor tutorials. This idea of using conductive foam really appeals.

  5. Joe says:

    he’s not using conductive foam. It’s the plastic that the antistatic bags are made from.

  6. RamenAlchemist says:

    Fantastic. I can’t wait to try it out.

  7. Seconded. As soon as I clear space on my desk! lol

    I actually have some 12×18″ sheets of pyralux that I got from DuPont as an engineering sample. There’s really no reason you couldn’t etch traces from the end of the ‘sensor’ strip and stick it in an FPC/FFC connector.

    (And people think I’m nutsy for actually desoldering those from boards! “It’s not like you can make your own flex circuits.” “Oh yeah? Watch me.”)

  8. rick says:

    Oh awesome, I’ve been wanting a good way to make these. The only alternatives I’d seen looked way too flimsy or too cost prohibitive considering the ghetto nature.

    Will definitely be trying this.

  9. tim says:

    five stars hack,
    but i hate MAKE, the only web site where you have to pay to see what people post for free

  10. @tim:
    Good thing it’s on instructables then, huh?

  11. Wwhat says:

    Instructables now tries to force you to sign up and in to view a lot of stuff like secondary pictures, I don’t like them anymore because of that.
    It’s a pity since that kind of stuff is so uncalled for.

  12. teck monkey says:

    have an idea of combining this(in the form of a glove) with augmented reality as the interface control or home made VR gear

  13. nithin says:

    its really a nice one … i am exhaust searching for one

  14. Angel says:

    Do you know some material to replace Velostat?

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