Design of optical waveguide channels for 3D distributed tactile sensing

Federica De Chiara, Jian Hu, Stephen Wang, Rong Wang, Hongbin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


High-spatial density tactile arrays equipped on 3D surfaces are highly desirable in various applications. However, current tactile sensing solutions lack the ability to provide high density tactile sensing on a 3D surface and, at same time, satisfying the need of simple manufacturing and low cost. To deal with these challenges, this paper proposes a sensor array based on the light transmission through polymer waveguide branches fabricated on a rigid substrate. Materials and manufacturing methods were selected to maximize the light transmission of the device. The characteristic channel structure made by several splitters connected in cascade allows the light to be transmitted from a single input channel to eight output channels, corresponding to eight independent sensing elements with similar force response. Simulation and experimental results are presented to validate the presented sensing principle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of IEEE Sensors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • array sensors
  • fiber optic sensors
  • Force and tactile sensing
  • optical sensors
  • polymer-based waveguides


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