There is a growing interest in soft actuators for human-friendly robotic applications. However, it is very challenging for conventional soft actuators to achieve both a large working distance and high force. To address this problem, we present a high-contraction ratio pneumatic artificial muscle (HCRPAM), which has a novel actuation concept. The HCRPAM can contract substantially while generating a large force suitable for a wide range of robotic applications. Our proposed prototyping method allows for an easy and quick fabrication, considering various design variables. We derived a mathematical model using a virtual work principle, and validated the model experimentally. We conducted simulations for the design optimization using this model. Our experimental results show that the HCRPAM has a 183.3% larger contraction ratio and 37.1% higher force output than the conventional pneumatic artificial muscle (McKibben muscle). Furthermore, the actuator has a compatible position tracking performance of 1.0 Hz and relatively low hysteresis error of 4.8%. Finally, we discussed the controllable bending characteristics of the HCRPAM, which uses heterogeneous materials and has an asymmetrical structure to make it comfortable for a human to wear.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2018.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence