A Modular Geometrical Framework for Modelling the Force-Contraction Profile of Vacuum-Powered Soft Actuators
Author(s)Gollob, Samuel Dutra; Park, Clara; Koo, Bon Ho Brandon; Roche, Ellen
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In this paper, we present a generalized modeling tool for predicting the output force profile of vacuum-powered soft actuators using a simplified geometrical approach and the principle of virtual work. Previous work has derived analytical formulas to model the force-contraction profile of specific actuators. To enhance the versatility and the efficiency of the modelling process we propose a generalized numerical algorithm based purely on geometrical inputs, which can be tailored to the desired actuator, to estimate its force-contraction profile quickly and for any combination of varying geometrical parameters. We identify a class of linearly contracting vacuum actuators that consists of a polymeric skin guided by a rigid skeleton and apply our model to two such actuators-vacuum bellows and Fluid-driven Origami-inspired Artificial Muscles-to demonstrate the versatility of our model. We perform experiments to validate that our model can predict the force profile of the actuators using its geometric principles, modularly combined with design-specific external adjustment factors. Our framework can be used as a versatile design tool that allows users to perform parametric studies and rapidly and efficiently tune actuator dimensions to produce a force-contraction profile to meet their needs, and as a pre-screening tool to obviate the need for multiple rounds of time-intensive actuator fabrication and testing.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Frontiers in Robotics and AI
Frontiers Media SA
Gollob, Samuel Dutra et al. "A Modular Geometrical Framework for Modelling the Force-Contraction Profile of Vacuum-Powered Soft Actuators." Frontiers in Robotics and AI 8 (March 2021): 606938. © 2021 Gollob et al.
Final published version