(19)
(11)EP 3 708 987 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
16.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/38

(21)Application number: 19162992.2

(22)Date of filing:  14.03.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01L 1/22(2006.01)
A61B 5/103(2006.01)
G01L 5/16(2020.01)
A61B 5/22(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
5656 AG Eindhoven (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • BRADA, Ype Bernardus
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)
  • KOENEN, Maurits
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

(74)Representative: Steenbeek, Leonardus Johannes et al
Philips Intellectual Property & Standards High Tech Campus 5
5656 AE Eindhoven
5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

  


(54)TWO-DIMENSIONAL FORCE SENSOR


(57) A two-dimensional force sensor for measuring a first force (Fx) in a first direction (X) and a second force (Fy) in a second direction (Y) different from the first direction (X). The two-dimensional force sensor comprises a first resilient plate (H1) oriented in the second direction (Y), a first end of the first resilient plate (H1) being arranged for being coupled to a reference point; a second resilient plate (H2) oriented in the first direction (X), a first end of the second resilient plate (H2) being coupled to a second end of the first resilient plate (HI); and a measurement probe (P) being coupled to a second end of the second resilient plate (H2). Advantageously, the measurement probe (P) is mounted on an extension device (A) mounted to the second end of the second resilient plate (H2), the extension device (A) being arranged for positioning the measurement probe (P) at a position deviating from an imaginary cross-section point of the first resilient plate (H1) and the second resilient plate (H2) by no more than 20%, preferably 10%, and more preferably 5%, of a length of the extension device.




Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The invention relates to a two-dimensional force sensor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0002] The earlier application PCT/EP2018/074558 (attorney's ref. 2017PF02274) discloses a two-dimensional force sensor for use in a hair styling or analyzing device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0003] It is, inter alia, an object of the invention to provide an improved two-dimensional force sensor. The invention is defined by the independent claims. Advantageous embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

[0004] One aspect of the invention provides a two-dimensional force sensor for measuring a first force in a first direction and a second force in a second direction different from the first direction. The two-dimensional force sensor comprises a first resilient plate oriented in the second direction, a first end of the first resilient plate being arranged for being coupled to a reference point; a second resilient plate oriented in the first direction, a first end of the second resilient plate being coupled to a second end of the first resilient plate; and a measurement probe being coupled to a second end of the second resilient plate.

[0005] Various embodiments of the invention provide the following advantages. Using resilient plates results in a relatively low weight compared to shear type load cells, so that the own mass of the two-dimensional force sensor components influences the measurement result to a far lesser extent. Using resilient plates also provides the advantage that the two-dimensional force sensor is more robust than a solution that employs shear type load cells, which may be damaged in case a hair styling or analyzing device comprising such a two-dimensional force sensor drops on the floor. The first and second resilient plates may be part of one plate that is suitably shaped (e.g. curved), or two different plates that are suitably connected to one another.

[0006] The measurement probe is preferably mounted on an extension device mounted to the second end of the second resilient plate, the extension device being arranged for positioning the measurement probe at a position deviating from an imaginary cross-section point of the first resilient plate and the second resilient plate by no more than 20%, preferably 10%, and more preferably 5%, of a length of the extension device. Positioning the measurement probe at a position as close as possible to this cross-section point provides the advantage of a maximal reduction in cross-talk, i.e. that a force in one direction triggers a false measurement of a force in the other direction. Measurements have shown that 1% deviation in the position results in a measurement error of about 1%. Manufacturing tolerances may prevent the measurement probe from being positioned at the optimal position of exactly at the imaginary cross-section point of the first resilient plate and the second resilient plate.

[0007] The first resilient plate may be provided with a first strain measurement unit to measure the first force, and the resilient second plate may be provided with a second strain measurement unit to measure the second force. This is a very simple and yet accurate execution of the two-dimensional force measurement. The strain measurement unit may include a set of two half bridge strain gauges on either side of the resilient plates, or one full bridge strain gauge on one side of the resilient plates. The use of a single strain gauge on both sides, creating a half bridge, is alternatively possible but more sensitive to temperature.

[0008] The first resilient plate and the second resilient plate may have a reduced width at positions where the first resilient plate and the second resilient plate have been provided with the first and second strain measurement units, respectively. This provides the advantage of a well-defined bending zone in the first and second resilient plates.

[0009] In an alternative embodiment, the two-dimensional force sensor further comprises a transducer for sensing a position deviation of the measurement probe to measure the first force and the second force. A good and affordable transducer comprises a Hall effect sensor for sensing a position deviation of a magnet that is coupled to the measurement probe.

[0010] The first resilient plate and the second resilient plate may be made from a single resilient plate that is shaped to have a first section (forming the first resilient plate) oriented in the second direction, and a second section (forming the second resilient plate) oriented in the first direction.

[0011] A hair styling or analyzing device of the type described in the earlier application PCT/EP2018/074558 is advantageously provided with such a two-dimensional force sensor.

[0012] These and other aspects of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0013] Figs. 1-8 show various embodiments of a two-dimensional force sensor in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



[0014] Various embodiment of the invention aim to provide a two-dimensional force sensor that is able to independently measure forces in two different directions that are e.g. perpendicular (90°) to each other, without any significant crosstalk. In various embodiments, this feature is obtained by mounting two resilient plates H1, H2 perpendicular to each other, and bringing the position where the forces Fx, Fy are induced (measurement probe P) exactly in line with both resilient plates H1, H2. The deformation of the resilient plates H1, H2 can be measured with a variety of transducers, e.g. with strain gauges. In various embodiments, the two resilient plates H1, H2 are mounted perpendicular to each other. This can be done with a separate connection element C between the resilient plates H1, H2. Alternatively, the resilient plates H1, H2 can be made out of one plate that is bent under a 90° angle. Advantageously, the two resilient plates H1, H2 are mounted in such way, that the position where the two resilient plates H1, H2 would intersect one another, is available for placing the measurement probe P where the forces Fx, Fy to be measured can be induced. Advantageously, an extension device formed by an arm A positions the measurement probe P at a position in line with the two resilient plates H1, H2. In one embodiment, the length of the arm A is about 2 cm.

[0015] When a force FX is induced on the measurement probe P in the X direction, the resilient plate H2 is loaded in push/pull direction and no momentum, so no deformation of the resilient plate H2 in the Y direction. When a force FX is induced in the X direction, the resilient plate H1 is loaded in pure bending direction and will deform in the X direction. The deformation in the Y direction is limited to a so-called cosine error and is negligible when the deformation due to bending of the resilient plate H1 in the X direction is relative small.

[0016] When a force FY is induced on the measurement probe P in the Y direction, the resilient plate H1 is loaded in push/pull direction and no momentum, so no deformation of the resilient plate H1 in the X direction. When a force FY is induced in the Y direction, the resilient plate H2 is loaded with a momentum and a force. Depending on the execution of the resilient plate H2, there will be a single or double bend in the resilient plate H2 creating a deformation in the Y direction. The deformation of the resilient plate H2 in the X direction is limited to a so-called cosine error and is negligible when deformation due to bending of the resilient plate H2 in the X direction is relative small.

[0017] The resilient plates H1, H2 are simple in geometry, which enables that the resilient plates H1, H2 can be made from various materials, e.g. high strength steel, but every material is possible when it fulfills certain properties.
  • When the sensor is used in various orientations or is used in a dynamic environment, the ratio between the elasticity coefficient and the mass of the sensor (material specific mass) of the material should have a minimal value such that the weight or inertial mass is deforming the resilient plates H1, H2 within the limits of the desired accuracy of the sensor.
  • The hysteresis in deformation of the material should be within the limits of the desired accuracy of the sensor.
  • The yield strength of the material should be within the limits of the maximum load of the sensor, not resulting in plastic deformation of the resilient plates H1, H2.


[0018] The above stated limitations lead in general to a preference for engineering materials like steel, aluminum and composite materials. A suitable material appeared to be 0.6 mm stainless steel. However, a suitable plastic material may alternatively be used for the resilient plates H1, H2.

[0019] Different transducers can be used converting the deformation of the hinges into electric signals. The most direct way is a measuring the strain in the resilient plates H1, H2 by strain gauges on the resilient plates H1, H2. Deformation can also be measured by measuring a change of position of the resilient plates H1, H2, or by measuring a change in position of the measurement probe P with (contactless) measurement methods like a Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT), optical distance sensors, hall sensors, eddy current or capacitive sensors. When measuring the position change of the measurement probe P, it needs to be ensured that the arm A is sufficiently stiff so that crosstalk due to asymmetrical load is within the limits of the desired sensor accuracy.

[0020] Various embodiments provide the following advantages:
  • Because the sensor can be made from a thin material, the weight is low. If the sensor is used in multiple orientations, the weight of the sensor plays a minor role.
  • The sensor can be made from a thin material. If the sensor is used in dynamic situations, the inertia of the sensor plays a minor role and can easier be compensated.
  • The material of the sensor is not limited anymore to materials that are easy to drill or mill, as are needed for a shear type load cell in which holes are drilled and from which material is removed so as to create hinges that allow the shear type load cell to deform. High strength materials like steel can be chosen resulting in a robust design not resulting in plastic deformation under load when a high load is applied.
  • Forces caused by inertial mass are lower, because of lower mass of the sensor, especially in combination with high strength materials. Because the high strength materials allow a larger deflection in the resilient plates H1, H2, it is easier to limit the stroke preventing plastic deformation.
  • The sensor is built from thin plate, not consuming much space. It fits in with smaller volumes.
  • As a result of the simple construction, the sensor is in essence a cheap solution that can advantageously be used in a hair styling or analysis device.


[0021] In the drawings, Figs. 1A, 1B show a basic execution of the two-dimensional force sensor, in which in a rest position, the arm A ensures that the measurement probe P is positioned in line at a virtual crossing of the resilient plates H1, H2. A connection part C is present between the resilient plates H1, H2.

[0022] The view of Fig. 2 shows that the measurement position of the probe P (i.e. where the forces FX, FY act on the measurement probe) may be above the resilient plates HI, H2 by means of which these forces FX, FY are measured.

Fig. 3 illustrates an embodiment in which the movement of the measurement probe, and thus the forces FX, FY, are measured by means of a magnet M on the measurement probe P and Hall effect sensors HS adjacent to the magnet M.

Fig. 4 illustrates a configuration with strain gauges S1, S2 mounted (e.g. glued) on the resilient plates H1, H2.

Fig. 5 illustrates an embodiment in material is removed from the resilient plates H1, H2 to create well-defined bending zones.

Figs. 6A, 6B illustrate that the resilient plates H1, H2 may very well be part of a single plate that is suitably bent (in the connection region C) so as to allow room for the measurement probe P.

Fig. 7 shows that the arm A too may be part of this single plate that is suitably bent. If strain gauges are used to measure the forces, it suffices to have an arm A that is not more rigid than the resilient plates H1, H2.

Fig. 8 shows an embodiment in which in the arm A, the single plate is bent so as to form stiffening ribs SR so as to ensure that the arm A is sufficiently stiff so that it hardly bends when forces are applied, so that the measurement of the forces is not disturbed. This is desirable in case a transducer is placed on the measurement probe P, e.g. when hall sensors HS are used to measure the forces, as shown in Fig. 3. Fig. 6B shows an alternative way to obtain a relatively stiff arm A which is separate from the plate that comprises the first resilient plate H1 and the second resilient plate H2. The stiffening ribs SR may be obtained in a different way than by bending a plate, e.g. by casting or extrusion molding.



[0023] The embodiments of Figs. 1B, 6A, 6B, 7 and 8 provide the advantage that normal and friction forces can now be measured with a single load cell instead of an assembly of two different load cells.

[0024] If desired, stroke limiting protection measures may be applied, preventing a plastic deformation of the resilient plates H1, H2 in an over-loaded situation.

[0025] Various embodiments if the invention thus provide a load cell having a minimum number of components, that measures both normal and friction forces without cross influencing the measurements, and allowing calculation of the friction coefficient of the specimen after one measurement. By using flat bending plates, a good strength to stiffness ratio is achieved. The reduction in mass of the sensor assembly compared to an assembly of shear type load cells has improved the capabilities of the sensor to survive impact forces due to dropping on hard surfaces. The positioning of the measurement probe in the virtual cross-section point of the two load cell blades H1, H2 avoids cross interference of normal and friction force. The load cell can be produced using mass production techniques like laser cutting or stamping, where shear load cells often require hand tuning.

[0026] A key feature of the invention is the capability of measuring a normal force Fn and a friction force Ff with one sensor, and therefore the ability of calculating a friction coefficient µ=Ff/Fn with a single probe and sensor. At any place where a friction coefficient is measured with only one probe, this invention may be used. For example, in propositions where friction coefficients of hair or skin have to be measured. In other industries it may be useful to detect changes in surface finish or wear.

[0027] It should be noted that the above-mentioned embodiments illustrate rather than limit the invention, and that those skilled in the art will be able to design many alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the appended claims. There is no need for the first and second directions to be perpendicular to one another; they may, e.g. at 45° or 135° to one another. In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. The word "comprising" does not exclude the presence of elements other than those listed in a claim. The word "a" or "an" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. The invention may be implemented by means of hardware comprising several distinct elements. In the device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by one and the same item of hardware. Measures recited in mutually different dependent claims may advantageously be used in combination.


Claims

1. A two-dimensional force sensor for measuring a first force (FX) in a first direction (X) and a second force (FY) in a second direction (Y) different from the first direction (X), the two-dimensional force sensor comprising:

a first resilient plate (H1) oriented in the second direction (Y), a first end of the first resilient plate (H1) being arranged for being coupled to a reference point;

a second resilient plate (H2) oriented in the first direction (X), a first end of the second resilient plate (H2) being coupled to a second end of the first resilient plate (H1); and

a measurement probe (P) being coupled to a second end of the second resilient plate (H2).


 
2. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in claim 1, wherein the measurement probe (P) is mounted on an extension device (A) mounted to the second end of the second resilient plate (H2), the extension device (A) being arranged for positioning the measurement probe (P) at a position deviating from an imaginary cross-section point of the first resilient plate (H1) and the second resilient plate (H2) by no more than 20%, preferably no more than 10%, and more preferably no more than 5%, of a length of the extension device.
 
3. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the first resilient plate (H1) is provided with a first strain measurement unit (S1) to measure the first force (FX), and the second resilient plate (H2) is provided with a second strain measurement unit to measure the second force (FY).
 
4. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first resilient plate (H1) and the second resilient plate (H2) have a reduced width (RW) at positions where the first resilient plate (H1) and the second resilient plate (H2) have been provided with the first and second strain measurement units, respectively.
 
5. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in claim 1 or 2, further comprising a transducer for sensing a position deviation of the measurement probe (P) to measure the first force (FX) and the second force (FY).
 
6. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in claim 5, wherein the transducer comprises a Hall effect sensor (HS) for sensing a position deviation of a magnet (M) that is coupled to the measurement probe (P).
 
7. A two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the first resilient plate (H1) and the second resilient plate (H2) are part of a single resilient plate that is shaped to have a first section oriented in the second direction (Y) and a second section oriented in the first direction (X).
 
8. A hair styling or analyzing device provided with a two-dimensional force sensor as claimed in any of the preceding claims.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description