building a (force resisting) sensor array


i’m toying with an idea of building an array of force resisting / pressure sensors. say a matrix of 10x5 i.e. 50 sensors. i would like to simultaneously read data from each sensor.

what would be the starting point / direction to look into for constructing such thing?


i would like to simultaneously read data from each sensor.

How "simultaneous" does it have to be? An AVR has only one analogue-to-digital converter, so (assuming you can synchonise them) you'd need 50 Arduinos to read them truly simultaneously.

well, maybe simultaneously was the wrong choice of word. the idea is to build a kind of "smart surface" made of pressure sensors. the surface should be able to send data which will give some indication regarding the amount and weight of material being placed on to of it. sensors should basically work somewhat like a monophonic synthesizer - send data each at a time, whenever there is a change of status.

Well, the question remains - how "simultaneous" does it have to be?

Assume you put an analogue mux with 50 inputs in front of the Arduino. Let's say you can do 5000 A-D conversions a second (probably a little conservative) on a single AVR, so for all 50 sensors, in theory you'd manage an overall update rate of 100Hz.

5000 A-D conversions per second? really?

say i’ll be using the Mux Shield ( and i program the board to continuously read through the 50 different pins (=sensors). how many seconds will it need to complete a full cycle?