Compensation technique for environmental and light source power variations applied in a polymer optical fiber curvature sensor for wearable devices


Res. Biomed. Eng.




Abstract Introduction Polymer optical fibers (POF) are lightweight, present high elastic strain limits, fracture toughness, flexibility in bend, and are not influenced by electromagnetic fields. These characteristics enable the application of POF as curvature sensor and can overcome the limitations of the conventional technologies, especially for wearable and soft robotics devices. Nevertheless, POF based curvature sensors can suffer from environmental and light source power deviations. This paper presents a compensation technique for the environmental and light source power deviations in a POF curvature sensor. Methods The curvature sensor was submitted to variations of temperature, humidity and light source power to characterize the sensor response and evaluate the proposed compensation technique. In addition, tests with the simultaneous variation of the angle and light source power variation were performed. Results Results show that temperature and humidity effects do not lead to significative errors on the sensor measurement for wearable devices application, where a hardware-based compact and portable compensation technique of the light source deviation is applied. Moreover, the sensor with the compensation technique developed is compared with a potentiometer for dynamic measurements and the root-mean-square error of about 1° is obtained, which is lower than sensors based on similar operation principle presented in the literature and some commercially available devices. Conclusions The compensation technique proposed was able to compensate power deviations applied and resulted in a sensor with low errors with the additional advantages of compactness and low-cost, which enable its application as wearable sensors and on the instrumentation of wearable robots.

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