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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1531; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051531

Vibro-Perception of Optical Bio-Inspired Fiber-Skin

1,†
,
2,†,* , 1,†,* and 2,3
1
Institute of Innovative Science and Technology, Tokai University, Hiratsuka-shi 259-1292, Japan
2
Micro/Nano Technology Center, Tokai University, Hiratsuka-shi 259-1292, Japan
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokai University, Hiratsuka-shi 259-1292, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Inspiring Sensing)
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Abstract

In this research, based on the principle of optical interferometry, the Mach-Zehnder and Optical Phase-locked Loop (OPLL) vibro-perception systems of bio-inspired fiber-skin are designed to mimic the tactile perception of human skin. The fiber-skin is made of the optical fiber embedded in the silicone elastomer. The optical fiber is an instinctive and alternative sensor for tactile perception with high sensitivity and reliability, also low cost and susceptibility to the magnetic interference. The silicone elastomer serves as a substrate with high flexibility and biocompatibility, and the optical fiber core serves as the vibro-perception sensor to detect physical motions like tapping and sliding. According to the experimental results, the designed optical fiber-skin demonstrates the ability to detect the physical motions like tapping and sliding in both the Mach-Zehnder and OPLL vibro-perception systems. For direct contact condition, the OPLL vibro-perception system shows better performance compared with the Mach-Zehnder vibro-perception system. However, the Mach-Zehnder vibro-perception system is preferable to the OPLL system in the indirect contact experiment. In summary, the fiber-skin is validated to have light touch character and excellent repeatability, which is highly-suitable for skin-mimic sensing. View Full-Text
Keywords: fiber-skin; bio-inspired sensor; silicone elastomer; vibro-perception; OPLL fiber-skin; bio-inspired sensor; silicone elastomer; vibro-perception; OPLL
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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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Li, T.; Zhang, S.; Lu, G.-W.; Sunami, Y. Vibro-Perception of Optical Bio-Inspired Fiber-Skin. Sensors 2018, 18, 1531.

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