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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Shape Programming Using Triangular and Rectangular Soft Robot Primitives

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117583, Singapore
2
Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117456, Singapore
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117575, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(4), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10040236
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 7 April 2019
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Abstract

This paper presents fabric-based soft robotic modules with primitive morphologies, which are analogous to basic geometrical polygons—trilateral and quadrilateral. The two modules are the inflatable beam (IB) and fabric-based rotary actuator (FRA). The FRA module is designed with origami-inspired V-shaped pleats, which creates a trilateral outline. Upon pressurization, the pleats unfold, which enables propagation of angular displacement of the FRA module. This allows the FRA module to be implemented as a mobility unit in the larger assembly of pneumatic structures. In the following, we examine various ways by which FRA modules can be connected to IB modules. We studied how different ranges of motion can be achieved by varying the design of the rotary joint of the assemblies. Using a state transition-based position control system, movement of the assembled modules could be controlled by regulating the pneumatic pressurization of the FRA module at the joint. These basic modules allow us to build different types of pneumatic structures. In this paper, using IB and FRA modules of various dimensions, we constructed a soft robotic limb with an end effector, which can be attached to wheelchairs to provide assistive grasping functions for users with disabilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: flexible structures; soft pneumatic actuators; fabric-based soft actuator flexible structures; soft pneumatic actuators; fabric-based soft actuator
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Khin, P.M.; Low, J.H.; Ang, M.H.; Yeow, C.-H. Shape Programming Using Triangular and Rectangular Soft Robot Primitives. Micromachines 2019, 10, 236.

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