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  1. Rats rely heavily on tactile information from their whiskers to acquire information about their surroundings. A whisker has no sensors along its length. Instead, mechanical deformation of the whisker is sensed via receptors at its base. The present study introduces a micro-sensor developed specifically to imitate the sensing of biological rat whiskers. The sensor responds to bending moments resulting from touch and/or airflow in two axes. The sensor was designed based on analytical models from cantilever beam theory, and the models were validated with finite-element analysis. Sensors were then fabricated using micro-milled molds and integrated into an Arduino-based circuit for simple signal acquisition. The present work begins to develop the technology to allow investigation of important engineering aspects of the rat vibrissal system at 1x scale. In addition to its potential use in novel engineering applications, the sensor could aid neuroscientists in their understanding of the rat vibrissal-trigeminal pathway.