Flexible Piezoelectric Force Sensor Monitoring Pianist Performance

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Zhangxian Deng


Piano beginners need to spend their first few months on properly pressing the keyboard. Proper fingering and correct hand position ensure that notes are played with the same rhythm, flow and power. Without a professional teacher, this practice can be challenging. In this research project, a smart glove with a flexible and in-situ Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) sensor was designed to track the force on the piano students’ finger tips in real time. Compared with existing resistive, capacitive, and semiconductor force sensors, PVDF sensors are superior in accuracy, sensitivity, mechanical robustness, lightweight, and corrosion resistance. The measurement range and frequency bandwidth of the new PVDF sensor were first calibrated by using a commercial piezoelectric force sensor. The calibrated PVDF sensor was then glued on a rubber glove and tested during actual piano playing. Due to the help of this smart glove, piano students can evaluate their own performance by comparing the force measurement with the suggested data without a professional teacher. The same force sensing concept can be implemented as artificial skin of future robots.

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