In this work, we developed a contact-type displacement sensor called the magnetic powdery sensor (MPS) that consists of magnets and iron powder. The self-repairing functions of the components of robots, such as wires, sensors, and actuators, have an important role in extending the life of robots. To realize the self-repairing functions of such components, we proposed a magnetic powdery wire (MPW) in our earlier research. The success of this study led us to consider other components of robots where the repairing mechanism could to be applied, leading to the development of the MPS. The key features of the MPS are its simple structure and self-repairing capability. The MPS is implemented with two sets of parallel Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) plates with a magnet fixed at the center. The distance between the plates varies between 7 mm and 23 mm, and their magnetic fields are in the same direction. We implemented the MPS by dispersing iron powder between the plates. The resistance decreases as the distance between the plates reduces. Through experimental results, we confirmed that the displacement can be measured by the MPS and that the MPS has self-repairing capability. As the sensor part of the MPS is composed of iron powder, it can be repaired in the same way as the MPW. These results demonstrate that the life of the magnetic powdery displacement sensor can be extended.
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