Capacitive-touch starter kit for industrial/consumer HMIs

April 23, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Renesas Electronics’ touch sensing starter kit (Y-RX113CAPT01) for the RX113 Group of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) employs the MCUs’ capacitive touch sensor intellectual property (IP) that enables high sensitivity, high noise immunity, and excellent water resistance.

The kit offers systems designers greater flexibility in developing human-machine interface (HMI) applications for home appliances, industrial machinery, and others that require touch capability in rugged environments.

The capacitive touch sensor IP built into RX113 Group of MCUs delivers both high sensitivity and high noise tolerance, allowing touch recognition even when the operator is wearing gloves. It also provides water resistance, making it suitable for use in a wide variety of product categories, including electric kitchen appliances that may be exposed to water spills, such as induction heating (IH) cooking devices or dishwashers, or products designed for wet environments, such as remote controls for bath water heaters or water-resistant TV sets.

The kit provides an automatic tuning functionality that solves a key problem for capacitive touch interface development: the tradeoff between touch sensitivity and noise tolerance. The starter kit is bundled with four touch sensing evaluation boards, making it simple to create suitable environments for testing panel materials, proximity or position sensing.

The touch sensing development kit includes:

· Four touch sensing evaluation boards and sample software for each

· Workbench6 automatic tuning tool, that allows designers to start development immediately, with features including:

o All-in-one package that accelerates the start of development

o Evaluation boards and automatic tuning tool that make it easy to set up a touch sensing development environment

o Ability to output tuning data as source files

The evaluation boards and automatic tuning tool included in the starter kit comprise;

- an evaluation board for basic touch sensing operations: keys, key matrix, sliders, and touch wheels, which is suitable for sensing applications employing materials such as acrylic, glass, wood, or plastic, covered with fabric, etc.

- an evaluation board for proximity sensing (non-contact sensing applications): Applications where hygiene is an issue, or where the operator wears thick latex gloves or mittens.

- an evaluation board for trackpads: Applications using position and direction sensing to mimic the