Flex sensors are a often used elements in eTextile projects as they give indication of movement or pressure events in interactive wearable electronic objects.
Plusea has made a large range of stretch and pressure sensors using neoprene and conductive yarn as the key elements.
Instructable member jiovine made a Bi-Directional Flex Sensor using copper foil laminate like it is used in the electronics industry and heat shrink tubing as enclosure.
Placing two copper clad foils face to face with a resistive layer cut from a black plastic poly bag in which usually sensitive electronic components are stored in between and the sensor is ready to use.
Component storing plastic bags are made of carbon-loaded polyethylene – so don’t throw away these bags next time you order some components.
The sweet thing of self-made flexible bend and force sensors is you can make them quickly in any size and shape.
This particular DIY Flex sensor comes from the robotic area but it will be very useful for wearable electronic projects as well. Maybe you have easier access to one or the other set of materials needed for a flex sensor or maybe this copper foil based ‘plastic’ or the textile based flex sensor fit better in a project you are working on.
Robotics and wearable electronic have an overlapping area of interest as robotics is using soft, flexible and electrified elements that suit wearable electronic as well.