|Title||Pouch Motors: Printable/inflatable soft actuators for robotics|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Niiyama, R.., D.. Rus, and S. Kim|
|Conference Name||Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014 IEEE International Conference on|
|Keywords||Actuators, antagonistic actuation, Bonding, fluidic soft actuators, Force, gas-tight bladders, heat bonding, heat stamping technique, Heating, inflatable soft actuators, legged locomotion, legged walking robot, linear pouch motor, mass manufacturing, moment-angle relationships, parallel gripper, pressure control, printable actuators, Printing, robotic arm, Robots, rotational pouch motor, self-contained miniature pneumatic system, sheet materials|
We propose a new family of fluidic soft actuators called Pouch Motors. The pouch motors are developed to create printable actuators for enhancing mass-fabrication of robots from sheet materials using easily accessible tools. The pouch motor consists of one or more gas-tight bladders (called pouches) fabricated by heat bonding. We developed two types of actuators from inflatable pouches: the linear pouch motor and the rotational pouch motor. Our theoretical analysis predicts the static force-length and moment-angle relationships of these actuators under pressure control. We compare the theoretical bounds with actual results achieved using several fabricated devices. We developed a fabrication process of pouch motors using a heat stamping technique that allows mass-manufacturing. We also demonstrate three robot bodies with embedded pouch motors: a parallel gripper, a robotic arm with antagonistic actuation, and legged walking robot with a self-contained miniature pneumatic system.