Infoscience

Conference paper

Characterization of Silicone Rubber Based Soft Pneumatic Actuators

Conventional pneumatic actuators have been a popular choice due to their decent force/torque output. Nowadays, new generation of pneumatic actuator made out of highly compliant elastomers, which we call soft pneumatic actuators (SPA), are drawing increasing attention due to their ease of fabrication, high customizability and innately softness. However, there is no effective method presented to characterize and understand these actuators, such as to measure the force and torque output, range of motion and the speed of actuation. In this work, we present two types of SPAs: bending and rotary actuators. In addition, we have developed two measurement setups to characterize actuators of different geometries. The measured force/torque outputs of different actuators are presented and analyzed. Step responses to certain pressure input are presented and discussed. A simple model is presented to provide physical insight to the observed behavior of the soft actuators. This work provides the basis for designing customized SPAs with application-specific requirements.

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