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[ pdf ] Pneumatic Artificial Muscles: actuators for robotics and automation

Pneumatic Artificial Muscles: actuators for robotics and automation Download
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Topic under  Pneumatic actuator
Source: lucy.vub.ac.be 
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Last download on: Sat Mar 25, 2017 02:39:57 PM
Short Desciption:
This article is intended as an introduction to and an overview of Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAMs). These are pneumatic actuators made mainly of a flexible and inflatable membrane. First, their concept and way of operation are explained. Next, the properties of these actuators are given, the most important of which are the compliant behavior and extremely low weight. A classification and review is following this section. Typical applications are dealt with in the last but one section and, finally, some concluding remarks are made.

Summary:
Although PAMs have been around for quite some time now, these actuators have not been widely used to date, which is not easily explained for. Possible reasons the authors see are the lack of large-scale need for this specific type of actuator and resulting from this a lack of technological effort to improve the existing designs. The most commonly used design to date, the McKibben Muscle, has some important drawbacks, mainly with regard to its control, as was mentioned before, but also with regard to service life: the flexible membrane is connected to rigid end fittings which introduces stress concentrations and therefrom possible membrane ruptures. Cylinders, being entirely composed of rigid materials, do not suffer from this problem. Using adequate designs and materials these problems can, however, be solved. In view of the problems robotics has in finding suitable actuators, the need for the strong and lightweight PAMs could very well mount in the near future: Pleated Muscles have been proven to be able to perform very accurate positioning tasks, using PAMs the structure of a robot arm can be made a lot lighter and consequently its payload to weight ratio a lot higher compared to electric drives, PAM operation characteristics make it inherently apt and easy to use for delicate handling operations or to power an adjustable firmness gripper. Especially for mobile robots—demanding lightweight actuators, able to generate high torques at low and moderate speeds, able to be connected to the structure without gearing, having a natural compliance and shock resistance and a possible autonomous operation—Pneumatic Artificial
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