Sensor and method for detecting a number of objects

  • US 10,288,657 B2
  • Filed: 05/08/2012
  • Issued: 05/14/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/10/2011
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A sensor device for detecting a number of objects relative to a sensor surface, comprising:

  • a plurality of non-overlapping electrode configurations forming the sensor surface, each electrode configuration comprising at least one transmitter electrode and a plurality of measurement electrodes arranged such that a signal transmitted by the at least one transmitter electrode is received by the plurality of measurement electrodes, wherein measurement electrodes of each electrode configuration are separate from measurement electrodes of other electrode configurations;

    wherein the objects do not touch the sensor surface, andan evaluation device coupled to the measurement electrodes and the transmitter electrodes and configured to determine a contactless position of an object relative to the sensor surface and being adapted for performing time multiplexing thereby selecting one of the plurality of electrode configurations, wherein for each selected electrode configuration, an alternating signal is fed to the at least one transmitter electrode of the selected one of the plurality of electrode configurations, and for remaining electrode configurations, a predetermined constant electrical potential is applied to each at least one transmitter electrode of the remaining electrode configurations, and wherein the evaluation device receives electrical signals from the measurement electrodes associated with the at least one transmitter electrode receiving the electrical alternating signal and determines said contactless position from said electrical signals.

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