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Title: Fiber Bragg Gratings in CYTOP Fibers Embedded in a 3D-Printed Flexible Support for Assessment of Human⁻Robot Interaction Forces
Authors: Leal-Junior, Arnaldo 
Theodosiou, Antreas 
Díaz, Camilo 
Marques, Carlos 
Pontes, Maria José 
Kalli, Kyriacos 
Frizera-Neto, Anselmo 
Keywords: Fiber Bragg gratings;Polymer optical fiber;Wearable devices;Soft materials;Additive layer manufacturing
Category: Materials Engineering
Field: Engineering and Technology
Issue Date: 16-Nov-2018
Publisher: MDPI
Source: Materials, 2018, vol. 11, no. 11, Article no. 2305
Journal: Materials 
Abstract: We developed a flexible support with embedded polymer optical fiber (POF) sensors for the assessment of human⁻robot interaction forces. The supports were fabricated with a three-dimensional (3D) printer, where an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) rigid structure was used in the region of the support in which the exoskeleton was attached, whereas a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) flexible structure was printed in the region where the users placed their legs. In addition, fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), inscribed in low-loss, cyclic, transparent, optical polymer (CYTOP) using the direct-write, plane-by-plane femtosecond laser inscription method, were embedded in the TPU structure. In this case, a 2-FBG array was embedded in two supports for human⁻robot interaction force assessment at two points on the users' legs. Both FBG sensors were characterized with respect to temperature and force; additionally, the creep response of the polymer, where temperature influences the force sensitivity, was analyzed. Following the characterization, a compensation method for the creep and temperature influence was derived, showing relative errors below 4.5%. Such errors were lower than the ones obtained with similar sensors in previously published works. The instrumented support was attached to an exoskeleton for knee rehabilitation exercises, where the human⁻robot interaction forces were measured in flexion and extension cycles.
ISSN: 1996-1944
DOI: 10.3390/ma11112305
Rights: © 2018 by the authors.
Type: Article
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