Mutual Inductance Force Sensor – “MIFS” (20084)

Consumers operate numerous devices and machines to assist in daily activities. This requires some form of contact with an interface sensor as to translate the human intent into an electronic response. Typical interface or input sensors range from simple push buttons to highly sensitive strain gauge type controls.

The invention NU 20084, "MIFS", offers a new design in input sensor technology. This novel and robust, multi axis, force input sensor is based on the principal of mutual inductance. Here, the movement between two parallel flat coil sets, printed on opposing surfaces, is detected. The surfaces or boards are held in proximity by some elastomeric structural component/housing. This enables a sensor that functions in a variety of ways, including as a flat "pad" type controller/pointer with response actions similar to that of a joystick (a joystick can be attached to the top plate if desired). The sensor is immune to unwanted temperature induce effects, external magnetic fields and can operate in wet and dry environments.

The sensor is also ideal for applications of rough use as a disposable and easy to replaceable component.


Inexpensive, simple and easy to manufacture ("print and fold") - cheap to replace Variety of configurations for measuring multiple axes of force and torque Thin; low profile – can be used on flex surfaces Can work in wet environments Durable and rugged Linear response over a wide range of input forces COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS:

Applications include automotive sensors, computers, gaming, exercise, rehabilitation, medical research devices and other systems in which input forces along one or several axes is to be detected.


Functional prototypes of various configurations have been demonstrated. Short video clip of device under test is available for viewing.

Northwestern seeks an industry partner to commercialize this patented invention.

US Patent # 7,047,826.

Inventor(s): Michael Peshkin

Type of Offer: Licensing

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