30 March 2010 Development of a McKibben artificial muscle using a shape-memory polymer
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Abstract
When McKibben artificial muscle actuators are applied to robotic joints, the joints are driven by pairs of actuators located antagonistically to increase the joint stiffness. However, the force for shape fixity is not large. Therefore, the objective of this study is to develop a McKibben artificial muscle using a shape-memory polymer (SMP). SMPs can be deformed above their glass transition temperature (Tg) by applying a small load. They maintain their shape after they have been cooled to below Tg. They then return to the predefined shape when heated above Tg. Exploiting these characteristics, we coated the braided mesh shell of a commercial McKibben artificial muscle and made a prototype of the actuator using the SMP. When this new actuator is warmed above Tg, the SMP deforms. Then, when the internal bladder is pressurized, the actuator shortens and/or produces a load. After the actuator becomes the desirable length, the actuator is cooled to below Tg and the SMP is fixed in a rigid state even without the air supply. Consequently, this actuator can maintain its length more rigidly and accurately. The experimental results conducted on this prototype confirm the feasibility of this new actuator.
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Kazuto Takashima, Kazuto Takashima, Jonathan Rossiter, Jonathan Rossiter, Toshiharu Mukai, Toshiharu Mukai, } "Development of a McKibben artificial muscle using a shape-memory polymer", Proc. SPIE 7644, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2010, 76440H (30 March 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847229; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.847229
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