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Optically Sensorized Tendons for Articulate Robotic Needles
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This study proposes an optically sensorized tendon composed of a 195 µm diameter, high strength, polarization maintaining (PM) fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) optical fiber which resolves the cross-sensitivity issue of conventional FBGs. The bare fiber tendon is locally reinforced with a 250 µm diameter Kevlar bundle enhancing the level of force transmission and enabling high curvature tendon routing. The performance of the sensorized tendons is explored in terms of strength (higher than 13N for the bare PM-FBG fiber tendon, up to 40N for the Kevlar-reinforced tendon under tensile loading), strain sensitivity (0.127 percent strain per newton for the bare PM-FBG fiber tendon, 0.04 percent strain per newton for the Kevlar-reinforced tendon), temperature stability, and friction-independent sensing behavior. Subsequently, the tendon is instrumented within an 18 Ga articulate NiTi cannula and evaluated under static and dynamic loading conditions, and within phantoms of varying stiffness for tissue-stiffness estimation. The results from this series of experiments serve to validate the effectiveness of the proposed tendon as a bi-modal sensing and actuation component for robot-assisted minimally invasive surgical instruments.
Karthikeyan, Rohith (2017). Optically Sensorized Tendons for Articulate Robotic Needles. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from