I am currently designing a microgripper for which I need a proximity/distance sensor.

Please refer to the image below for design requirements.

Due to the force application (as shown in the image), the surfaces A and B undergo bending phenomenon. I need sensors to identify the distance between these surfaces during the bending process. I plan to use capacitive proximity sensor IC (as the material is plastic) either on surface A or both of them to create a capacitor like condition and measure the change in the distance between them.

The dimensions surface are 18mm(length) and 4mm(height)

Could you suggest which proximity solution might work in this case? My idea is to use the two surfaces as capacitor plates but I need help in how to create a detection system.


  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for sharing your project. Have you got a question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice project and good luck but aren't you forgetting something.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ sorry. my mistake. too eager to ask for suggestions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aman Garg
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ What does the distance information that you think you need get used for i.e. justify that measuring capacitance to calculate distance is the bottom line parameter you need (rather than using a strain gauge to directly measure force). \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka This microgripper is one component of my work. I need to be able to control the jaws (i.e. the precise amount of opening and closing) as I will be holding a tube (with fluid flow) and can hence control the flow. Strain gauge can be used for data acquisition but not as an MEMS device. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aman Garg
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Cypress makes good products for this that are generally easy to use. They have a largely GUI based development environment and unlike a lot of manufacturers loads of very good documentation about it.


They can do what you want and do a good job of guiding you along the way.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I just went through their work and as I make out their solutions are meant to be deployed directly. It won't be helpful to me as I am looking to maybe use some IC's as capacitive sensor and not designs which they have. GUI is of no relevance to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aman Garg
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AmanGarg In your question you say "I need help in how to create a detection system", so this is actually a decent answer. You have to start somewhere, there isn't going to be some magical IC that will just work. AN92239 is a guide on how to design a proximity sensing solution, and their designs are examples, not necessarily meant to be directly deployed. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2017 at 20:46

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