Renesas Electronics has unveiled a Material Detection Solution which can detect materials or liquids easily and cost effectively without sensors by connecting electrodes using the company's RX130 capacitive touch-key microcontrollers.
Replacing the sensors with this electrode approach contributes to lower bill of materials (BOM) costs while enabling detection at multiple points using a single chip. This allows industrial equipment, OA equipment, and home appliance manufacturers to explore detection systems for cost-constrained applications. To achieve sensor-less physical object detection easily and cost-effectively, the Renesas solution connects two thin-film electrodes and measures the capacitance between those electrodes using one of its touch-key MCUs. Changes in the measured materials are determined by detecting the change in capacitance between the electrodes. In addition to eliminating the need for sensor evaluation and operating condition determination, the initialization and sensitivity adjustments can be easily performed using the development support graphical user interface (GUI) tool available for capacitive touch sensor systems.