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Low-Powered and Resilient IR-Based Pigmented Soft Optoelectronic Sensors

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posted on 2022-08-09, 12:36 authored by Babar Jamil, Hugo Rodrigue
Soft optoelectronic sensors capable of multimodal sensing have high repeatability, which makes them an attractive choice for applications requiring deformable sensors. A weakness of these sensors is the constant supply of electrical power input required to pass the light signal through their core, which can lead to excessive power requirements for portable devices. Using an infrared (IR) spectrum signal that requires very low power for signal propagation should help alleviate this issue. However, soft optoelectronic sensors can be easily disturbed by external light sources or even suffer from cross-interference, and IR-based sensors are more susceptible to such interferences since IR wavelengths can penetrate the cladding material generally used in soft optical waveguides. This paper presents a highly stretchable low-powered IR-based soft optoelectronic stretchable sensor with pigmented cladding capable of multimodal sensing. The use of an IR-spectrum signal makes it consume a fraction of the power of what a visible spectrum-based optoelectronic sensor would consume. Pigmented elastomers are used as the cladding of the waveguides of these sensors, which makes them highly resilient. These sensors are embedded in a resilient soft robotic gripper capable of controlling its contact force even with significant external disturbances.

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