Chapter 15
Material-Integrated Sensing Systems
Integration of Sensing and Multi-Agent Systems in Materials and Tech-
nical Structures: Technological Aspects and Integration Technologies
The Sensorial Material 528
Integration Levels 530
Integration Technologies and Sensorial Materials 534
Digital Logic Technologies 537
Computational Constraints 543
Further Reading 546
S. Bosse, Unified Distributed Sensor and Environmental Information Processing with Multi-Agent Systems
epubli, ISBN 9783746752228 (2018)
Chapter 15. Material-Integrated Sensing Systems
528
The technological aspects of data processing embedded in technical struc-
tures and materials is one major driving force of the distributed data
processing methodologies and platforms investigated in this work. Material
properties, actually available manufacturing technologies, impact of physical
data processing units on material and structure properties, create hard con-
straints on the possible integration of data processing in such materials and
the features of the data processing units. The following chapter outlines the
state of the art of the integration of sensing systems in materials.
15.1 The Sensorial Material
The new paradigm shift of sensorial materials [BOS14G][LEH13] stands for
the technology of sensing and the senses and will
Support sensorization in diverse fields of use by providing pioneering
technical solutions;
Identify new areas of application for integrated sensors and develop
practical implementation;
Advance sensor integration to the level where sensor-equipped struc-
tures become sensorial materials;
Perform fundamental and applied research and development to set
new standards in safety, efficiency, robustness and reliability of techni-
cal products, and to enable new capabilities in fields like human-
machine interaction.
The rise of sensorial materials is closely coupled to the migration from pas-
sive sensors to smart sensors integrating data processing and
communication, shown in Figure 15.1. This new concept integrates as much as
possible functionality in materials, enabling distributed material-integrated
sensor processing and transforming sensorial materials in perceptive distrib-
uted virtual machines. The main fields of application of sensorial materials are
Load and Structural Health Monitoring.
As a concept, material-integrated intelligent systems have implicitly been
around for quite some time. To a considerable degree, this is because the
concept as such is not so much a human invention, but rather something that
is deeply rooted in nature: The human skin and the human nervous system
are the typical examples cited pertaining to material-integrated intelligent
systems.
S. Bosse, Unified Distributed Sensor and Environmental Information Processing with Multi-Agent Systems
epubli, ISBN 9783746752228 (2018)
15.1 The Sensorial Material 529
Fig. 15.1 From passive Sensors to Smart Sensors and Sensorial Materials integrating
the smart sensors in host materials and technical structures [from Diploma
thesis of Sang Hyo Lee, 2010, University of Bremen].
Having said this, we can derive a list of characteristics a material would
need for us to concede that it can actually “feel.” Such a material must be
capable of
capturing sensory data;
aggregating data through some local preprocessing, performing data
reduction of individual data points;
further processing this data to derive some higher-level information,
gaining knowledge;
using this knowledge for decision-making, putting it to some internal/
local use, or communicating it to higher system levels;
coping with damage by being dynamic and reconfigurable;
and achieving a state of awareness of host material and environment,
that is, the derivation of a context knowledge.
S. Bosse, Unified Distributed Sensor and Environmental Information Processing with Multi-Agent Systems
epubli, ISBN 9783746752228 (2018)