Vol. 51, Issue 4, pp. 589-604

Vol. 51 Issue 4 pp. 589-604

Stretchable optical fibre sensor for soft surgical robot shape reconstruction

Yanlin He, Likun Gao, Yuchen Bai, Hangwei Zhu, Guangkai Sun, Lianqing Zhu, Haidong Xu


soft robotics, minimally invasive surgery, shape measurement, stretchable structure, optical fibre


Soft robotics presents several advantages in the field of minimally invasive surgery. However, existing methods have not fully addressed problems related to soft robot shape sensing due to the complex motion of soft robots and the stretchable nature of the soft materials employed. This study demonstrates the shape sensing of a soft robot with a helically embedded stretchable fibre Bragg grating (FBG)-based optical fibre sensor. Unlike straight FBG embedding configurations, this unique helical configuration prevents sensor dislocation, supports material stretchability, and facilitates shape detection for various soft-robot movements. The proposed soft-robot design principle and FBG sensor are analysed and their fabrication process, which includes an FBG-written optical fibre sensor, is described. Bending experiments are conducted with the soft robot, the wavelengths of FBG sensors at different bending and telescopic movement states are obtained, and the soft-robot shape is reconstructed. Experimental results demonstrate that the maximum error between FBG sensing and the actual bending state is less than 2.5%, validating the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed helical stretchable FBG sensing method for the shape measurement of soft robots. These results indicate the potential and applicability of this shape-sensing approach in biomedical research.

Vol. 51
Issue 4
pp. 589-604

3.16 MB
OPTICA APPLICATA - a quarterly of the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Fundamental Problems of Technology