Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Design and evaluation of a 3-D printed optical sensor for monitoring finger flexion

Wang, Lefan ORCID:, Meydan, Turgut ORCID: and Williams, Paul ORCID: 2017. Design and evaluation of a 3-D printed optical sensor for monitoring finger flexion. IEEE Sensors Journal 17 (6) , pp. 1937-1944. 10.1109/JSEN.2017.2654863

[thumbnail of 07827137.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The development of techniques for monitoring finger movement is becoming increasingly important in areas, such as robotics, virtual reality, and rehabilitation. To date, various techniques have been proposed for tracking hand movements, but the majority suffer from poor accuracy and repeatability. Inspired by the articulated structure of finger joints, we propose a novel 3-D printed optical sensor with a compact hinged configuration for tracking finger flexion. This sensor exploits Malus' law using the attenuation of light transmitted through crossed polarizers. The sensor consists of a single LED, two pieces of linear polarizing film, and a photodetector that detects the changes in polarized light intensity proportional to the angle of finger flexion. This paper presents the characterization of the proposed optical sensor and compares it with a commonly used commercial bend sensor. Results show that the bend sensor exhibits hysteresis error, low sensitivity at small angles, and significant temporal drift. In contrast, the optical sensor is more accurate (±0.5°) in the measuring range from 0° to 90°, and exhibits high repeatability and stability, as well as a fast dynamic response. Overall, the optical sensor outperforms the commercial bend sensor, and shows excellent potential for monitoring hand movements in real time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International license.
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISSN: 1530-437X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 February 2017
Date of Acceptance: 14 January 2017
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 18:49

Citation Data

Cited 22 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics