This Letter demonstrates the application of polymer optical fibers (POFs) damaged by the fiber fuse effect to curvature sensing and dynamic angular monitoring. The curvature sensing performance using the fused-POF is compared to POF without the fuse effect. Both POFs are submitted to angles of up to 90 deg in flexion/extension cycles with angular velocities ranging from 0.48 rad/s to 5.61 rad/s. The fused POF is found to show higher performance with respect to sensitivity, correlation coefficient with linear regression, and hysteresis. For instance, at the angular velocity of 0.48 rad/s, the fused POF shows >3 times higher sensitivity and significantly lower hysteresis than those of the non-fused POF. In addition, the fused POFs have lower cross-sensitivity and hysteresis variations on the tests with different angular velocities. These results indicate that the fused POFs are potential candidates to develop curvature sensors with various advantages over non-fused POFs, for applications such as gait analysis and wearable robotics.
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