Embedded electro-conductive yarn for shape sensing of soft robotic manipulators

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Abstract

Flexible soft and stiffness-controllable surgical manipulators enhance the manoeuvrability of surgical tools during Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), as opposed to conventional rigid laparoscopic instruments. These flexible and soft robotic systems allow bending around organs, navigating through complex anatomical pathways inside the human body and interacting inherently safe with its soft environment. Shape sensing in such systems is a challenge and one essential requirement for precise position feedback control of soft robots. This paper builds on our previous work integrating multiple optical fibres into a soft manipulator to estimate the robot's pose using light intensity modulation. Here, we present an enhanced version of our embedded bending/shape sensor based on electro-conductive yarn. The new system is miniaturised and able to measure bending behaviour as well as elongation. The integrated yarn material is helically wrapped around an elastic strap and protected inside a 1.5mm outer-diameter stretchable pipe. Three of these resulting stretch sensors are integrated in the periphery of a pneumatically actuated soft manipulator for direct measurement of the actuation chamber lengths. The capability of the sensing system in measuring the bending curvature and elongation of the arm is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages8026-8029
Number of pages4
Volume2015-November
ISBN (Print)9781424492718
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2015
Event37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015 - Milan, Italy
Duration: 25 Aug 201529 Aug 2015

Conference

Conference37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2015
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityMilan
Period25/08/201529/08/2015

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