Actuators are the most important elements that affect the performance of biorobotic systems design and development. One of the objectives of this project is to design stronger, lighter, 3D printable, functionally graded bone-like structures and bio-inspired musculoskeletal system for the articulation of robots. Another objective is to identify the fundamental science of manufacturing and modeling of the muscle systems. A modular building block is presented consisting of bone-like structures, cartilages and artificial muscles (that are inexpensive and powerful), which can be cascaded to create complex robots. In this paper, we present terrestrial robots as a demonstration of the building blocks for biorobotic systems. We particularly illustrate a humanoid robot developed using soft actuators based on twisted and coiled polymer (TCP) muscles. The integration of TCPs in biorobotic systems has some challenges to overcome such as initial pre-stress, adding multiple actuators in parallel or in antagonistic pair and speed of actuation and other accessories. We will quantify the performance of these robots experimentally. We presented two TCP muscles types, one without heating element and the other one that incorporates a heating element that allows electrical actuation.
Lianjun Wu, Farzad Karami, Armita Hamidi, and Yonas Tadesse, "Biorobotic systems design and development using TCP muscles ," Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 1059417 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 08, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300943.
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