Using Force Sensing Resistors (FSR’s) as a Replacement for a Throttle

After visiting many sports equipment factories we had the idea of an electronic bike grip that doubles as a pressure sensitive e-bike throttle. Similar technology exists on treadmills in the form of conductive rubber pressure sensors (no not the metal pulse sensors, the other safety fall sensors.)

The idea is sort of the opposite of a treadmill, a treadmill uses pressure sensors to see if the user has fallen or is not stable operating the machine and kills the machine’s power. Our idea is to use an e-bike controller time delay (1/2 ~ 3/4 wheel rotation) to actuate the motor. Then the e-bike system ramps power (up or down) based on the amount of pressure the user administers on the grip sensor.

We did a simple test using a Force Sensing Resistor or FSR’s. FSR’s are sensors that allow you to detect physical pressure, squeezing and weight. FSR’s are basically a resistor that changes its resistive value (in ohms Ω) depending on how much it is pressed. A Voltage Divider Board turns a variable resistor, such as an FSR into a tunable 0-5v analog signal (much like a normal hall sensor throttle which is 0.9v to 4.2v.)

While this application works on testing equipment, real life application and safety precautions would be need to be added to make this a real viable product. As an industry peer pointed out, this may in the worst case act like a “Whiskey Throttle.” Newer e-bike users may become scared or panicked and could possibly grip down harder on the grip, which would sort of be the opposite of what you’d want in an emergency situation.

Send us a message if you can think of any other safety precautions or added sensors that would make this a real product worth pursuing.

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