Inkjet-printed onto a thin substrate of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic in less than a minute, and then adhered to the skin anywhere on the body, Multi-Touch Skin can be made in any two-dimensional shape. It incorporates two stacked layers of electrodes arranged in rows and columns, forming a grid. In its current form, each piece of the Skin is hard-wired to a touch-controller microchip, which is in turn connected to a tiny battery-powered Raspberry Pi Zero microcomputer.
That chip constantly measures the electrical capacitance at every intersection within the grid of electrodes. When the user touches the Skin at a given location, their fingertips conduct electricity, allowing the charge to drain away at that intersection (the insulating bottom layer of the Multi-Touch Skin keeps the user’s underlying skin from having an effect). The chip detects that change in capacitance, and registers it as a touch in that location – it can do so for multiple touches simultaneously.
The resulting signals are wirelessly transmitted to separate electronic devices, causing them to do different things depending on the type of touch detected.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.