Large-Range Polymer Optical-Fiber Strain-Gauge Sensor for Elastic Tendons in Wearable Assistive Robots
Cifuentes Garcia, Carlos Andrés | 2019
This paper presents the development and validation of a polymer optical-fiber strain-gauge sensor based on the light-coupling principle to measure axial deformation of elastic tendons incorporated in soft actuators for wearable assistive robots. An analytical model was proposed and further validated with experiment tests, showing correlation with a coefficient of R = 0.998 between experiment and theoretical data, and reaching a maximum axial displacement range of 15 mm and no significant hysteresis. Furthermore, experiment tests were carried out attaching the validated sensor to the elastic tendon. Results of three experiment tests show the sensor’s capability to measure the tendon’s response under tensile axial stress, finding 20.45% of hysteresis in the material’s response between the stretching and recovery phase. Based on these results, there is evidence of the potential that the fiber-optical strain sensor presents for future applications in the characterization of such tendons and identification of dynamic models that allow the understanding of the material’s response to the development of more efficient interaction-control strategies.