Actuators 2013, 2(4), 129-144; doi:10.3390/act2040129

Double-Acting Sleeve Muscle Actuator for Bio-Robotic Systems

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama, 290 Hardaway Hall, Box 870276, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0276, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 November 2013; in revised form: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Centered Actuators)
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Abstract: This paper presents a new type of muscle-like actuator, namely double-acting (DA) sleeve muscle actuator, which is suitable for the actuation of biologically-inspired and biomedical robotic systems, especially those serving human-assistance purposes (prostheses, orthoses, etc.). Developed based on the traditional pneumatic muscle actuator, the new DA sleeve muscle incorporates a unique insert at the center. With the insert occupying the central portion of the internal volume, this new actuator enjoys multiple advantages relative to the traditional pneumatic muscle, including a consistent increase of force capacity over the entire range of motion, and a significant decrease of energy consumption in operation. Furthermore, the insert encompasses an additional chamber, which generates an extension force when pressurized. As such, this new actuator provides a unique bi-directional actuation capability, and, thus, has a potential to significantly simplify the design of a muscle actuator-powered robotic system. To demonstrate this new actuator concept, a prototype has been designed and fabricated, and experiments conducted on this prototype demonstrated the enhanced force capacity and the unique bi-directional actuation capability.
Keywords: robotic actuator; artificial muscle; muscle-like actuator

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zheng, H.; Shen, X. Double-Acting Sleeve Muscle Actuator for Bio-Robotic Systems. Actuators 2013, 2, 129-144.

AMA Style

Zheng H, Shen X. Double-Acting Sleeve Muscle Actuator for Bio-Robotic Systems. Actuators. 2013; 2(4):129-144.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zheng, Hao; Shen, Xiangrong. 2013. "Double-Acting Sleeve Muscle Actuator for Bio-Robotic Systems." Actuators 2, no. 4: 129-144.

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