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  • Macrobend optical sensing for pose measurement in soft robot arms

Sareh, Sina, Noh, Yohan, Li, Min, Ranzani, Tommaso, Liu, Hongbin and Althoefer, Kaspar, 2015, Journal Article, Macrobend optical sensing for pose measurement in soft robot arms Smart Materials and Structures, IOP Science, 24 (12). pp. 1-14. ISSN 0964-1726

Abstract or Description:

This paper introduces a pose-sensing system for soft robot arms integrating a set of macrobend stretch sensors. The macrobend sensory design in this study consists of optical fibres and is based on the notion that bending an optical fibre modulates the intensity of the light transmitted through the fibre. This sensing method is capable of measuring bending, elongation and compression in soft continuum robots and is also applicable to wearable sensing technologies, e.g. pose sensing in the wrist joint of a human hand. In our arrangement, applied to a cylindrical soft robot arm, the optical fibres for macrobend sensing originate from the base, extend to the tip of the arm, and then loop back to the base. The connectors that link the fibres to the necessary opto-electronics are all placed at the base of the arm, resulting in a simplified overall design. The ability of this custom macrobend stretch sensor to flexibly adapt its configuration allows preserving the inherent softness and compliance of the robot which it is installed on. The macrobend sensing system is immune to electrical noise and magnetic fields, is safe (because no electricity is needed at the sensing site), and is suitable for modular implementation in multi-link soft continuum robotic arms. The measurable light outputs of the proposed stretch sensor vary due to bend-induced light attenuation (macrobend loss), which is a function of the fibre bend radius as well as the number of repeated turns. The experimental study conducted as part of this research revealed that the chosen bend radius has a far greater impact on the measured light intensity values than the number of turns (if greater than five). Taking into account that the bend radius is the only significantly influencing design parameter, the macrobend stretch sensors were developed to create a practical solution to the pose sensing in soft continuum robot arms. Henceforward, the proposed sensing design was benchmarked against an electromagnetic tracking system (NDI Aurora) for validation.

Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0964-172...
Subjects: Other > Engineering > H600 Electronic and Electrical Engineering > H670 Robotics and Cybernetics > H671 Robotics
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission under grant agreement 287728
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0964-1726/24/12/125024
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2017 12:36
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 12:36
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/2968

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