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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 254; doi:10.3390/s17020254

A New, Adaptable, Optical High-Resolution 3-Axis Sensor

Institute for Health Care Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Stremayrgasse 16, 8010 Graz, Austria
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Received: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 27 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

This article presents a new optical, multi-functional, high-resolution 3-axis sensor which serves to navigate and can, for example, replace standard joysticks in medical devices such as electric wheelchairs, surgical robots or medical diagnosis devices. A light source, e.g., a laser diode, is affixed to a movable axis and projects a random geometric shape on an image sensor (CMOS or CCD). The downstream microcontroller’s software identifies the geometric shape’s center, distortion and size, and then calculates x, y, and z coordinates, which can be processed in attached devices. Depending on the image sensor in use (e.g., 6.41 megapixels), the 3-axis sensor features a resolution of 1544 digits from right to left and 1038 digits up and down. Through interpolation, these values rise by a factor of 100. A unique feature is the exact reproducibility (deflection to coordinates) and its precise ability to return to its neutral position. Moreover, optical signal processing provides a high level of protection against electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. The sensor is adaptive and adjustable to fit a user’s range of motion (stroke and force). This recommendation aims to optimize sensor systems such as joysticks in medical devices in terms of safety, ease of use, and adaptability. View Full-Text
Keywords: tactile sensors; assistive technologies; power wheelchair; medical systems; robotic; joystick; optical sensor tactile sensors; assistive technologies; power wheelchair; medical systems; robotic; joystick; optical sensor
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Buchhold, N.; Baumgartner, C. A New, Adaptable, Optical High-Resolution 3-Axis Sensor. Sensors 2017, 17, 254.

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