Conference paper

Practical control methods for vacuum driven soft actuator modules

Vacuum-powered Soft Pneumatic Actuator (VSPA) Modules have been described to afford advantages for rapid development of reconfigurable, multi-DoF soft pneumatic robots powered by vacuum by reducing their logistical complexity, however they also present new challenges in the control of resulting systems. This framework features modules joined together over a simple embedded pneumatic and serial communication network and requires a unique approach to both low-level control implementation and high-level control strategy. We describe the structure and activation characteristics of a V-SPA Module and present practical methods for its control. These methods utilize software generated PWM activation through a unique serial protocol designed for LED networks and a heuristic mapping strategy for simplifying the spherical control of 3-DoF actuator modules.

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