Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities and you.
Designers often look to nature for ideas that can be implemented in new products. Octopus suction cups provide an interesting pressure example.
When the octopus’ sucker is sealed to a surface, contraction of its radial muscles thins the wall of the sucker which tends to increase the enclosed volume. However, the cohesiveness of water resists volume expansion and the pressure of the enclosed water decreases instead. With this mechanism, an octopus can create a pressure differential of 100-200 kPa (14.5-29 psi) at sea level and generate a significant amount of force.
Suction cups allow professional glazers to easily pick up and move large pieces of glass. One company offers a Vacuum Cup Octopus with Pump that can lift a maximum weight of 185 kg (407.9 lbs.) vertically with a 300-mm (11.8-in) diameter vacuum cup. One version includes a manual vacuum pump with a leak gauge to monitor the effectiveness of the suction.
Source: Vacuum Cup Octopus with Pump
Vacuum suction cups offer a versatile method of material handling. In fact, suction cups also allow robots to pick different smooth surfaced objects. The approach has been applied to the robotics field since the 1960s. One recent research effort focuses on suction cups that can be used on robots designed to perform tasks in unstructured and contaminated environments. Of course, monitoring the amount of vacuum (negative pressure) with an accurate and rugged microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensor can provide an even greater amount of control to more sophisticated suction applications.
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities and you. In this blog we’ll discuss the importance of high blood pressure and creating visibility for this important health issue.
May: National High Blood Pressure Education Month
Do not over inflate! For tires this means air pressure but for humans it means blood pressure. With high blood pressure, a person’s artery walls can fail and ultimately be the cause of death. With this in mind, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated May as National High Blood Pressure Education Month. The facts are:
- Data from 2010 indicates that 1,000 deaths occurred each day in America due at least in part to high blood pressure.
- In the US, about 1 of 3 adults or 67 million people has high blood pressure.
Target desirable readings are 120 over 80: a systolic (top) number of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic (bottom) number of 80 mmHg. The top number is the pressure caused by the heart pumping blood and the bottom number is the value between beats. Higher values of 139 systolic and 80–89 diastolic indicate prehypertension. A person with a systolic reading of 140 or greater or diastolic value of 90 or greater has hypertension.
The mechanical sphygmomanometer remains one of the tools to measure blood pressure. However, MEMS pressure sensors provide accurate and easily automated measurements for digital pressure measurements and monitoring, especially in post-surgery and other critical situations. The American Heart Association has stated, “Accurate measurement of blood pressure is essential to classify individuals, to ascertain blood pressure–related risk, and to guide management.” While technique, cuff size, position, time of day and other factors are important for accurate measurements, accuracy starts at the level of the basic sensing element.
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-Dan DeFalco, Marketing Manager, All Sensors Corporation (firstname.lastname@example.org)