Although the paper reports a minimum and maximum readable force of 1.5N and 5N respectively for the first OL scaffold experiment, the researchers note that the structure design could easily be tuned for different sensitivity and dynamic force ranges, using a different lattice geometry.
The lace itself, without being encapsulated in a lattice, had a minimum detectable force of 0.06N, but again, maybe it could be designed thinner and with a softer material. According to ballistic tests (shooting a small projectile at the innerved scaffold), measurable deformation rates go up to at least 46kHz with measurable impulses between 0.2 and 2.5ms.
The authors also anticipate they could further improve the positional accuracy of their tactile sensor network by changing the output geometries to be flatter and overlapping, with narrower light guides. Even a single input could innervate a large volume as long as higher power LEDs or more sensitive photodetectors are used.
Next, they want to take advantage of the higher information density that can be carried through optical systems to create integrated sensorimotor networks, combining not only deformation sensing but also temperature, humidity, and chemical monitoring.
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