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Article

Machine-Knitted Seamless Pneumatic Actuators for Soft Robotics: Design, Fabrication, and Characterization

1
Faculty of Textile Technologies and Design, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34437, Turkey
2
Computer Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34469, Turkey
3
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
4
Department of Excellence in Robotics & AI, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, The BioRobotics Institute, 56127 Pisa, Italy
5
Faculty of Technology, Textile Engineering Department, Marmara University, Istanbul 34722, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Alessio Merola
Actuators 2021, 10(5), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10050094
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 31 March 2021 / Accepted: 9 April 2021 / Published: 30 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pneumatic Actuators for Robotics and Automation)
Computerized machine knitting offers an attractive fabrication technology for incorporating wearable assistive devices into garments. In this work, we utilized, for the first time, whole-garment knitting techniques to manufacture a seamless fully knitted pneumatic bending actuator, which represents an advancement to existing cut-and-sew manufacturing techniques. Various machine knitting parameters were investigated to create anisotropic actuator structures, which exhibited a range of bending and extension motions when pressurized with air. The functionality of the actuator was demonstrated through integration into an assistive glove for hand grip action. The achieved curvature range when pressurizing the actuators up to 150 kPa was sufficient to grasp objects down to 3 cm in diameter and up to 125 g in weight. This manufacturing technique is rapid and scalable, paving the way for mass-production of customizable soft robotics wearables. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft robotics; knitted actuators; wearables; assistive devices soft robotics; knitted actuators; wearables; assistive devices
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MDPI and ACS Style

Elmoughni, H.M.; Yilmaz, A.F.; Ozlem, K.; Khalilbayli, F.; Cappello, L.; Tuncay Atalay, A.; Ince, G.; Atalay, O. Machine-Knitted Seamless Pneumatic Actuators for Soft Robotics: Design, Fabrication, and Characterization. Actuators 2021, 10, 94. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10050094

AMA Style

Elmoughni HM, Yilmaz AF, Ozlem K, Khalilbayli F, Cappello L, Tuncay Atalay A, Ince G, Atalay O. Machine-Knitted Seamless Pneumatic Actuators for Soft Robotics: Design, Fabrication, and Characterization. Actuators. 2021; 10(5):94. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10050094

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elmoughni, Hend M., Ayse F. Yilmaz, Kadir Ozlem, Fidan Khalilbayli, Leonardo Cappello, Asli Tuncay Atalay, Gökhan Ince, and Ozgur Atalay. 2021. "Machine-Knitted Seamless Pneumatic Actuators for Soft Robotics: Design, Fabrication, and Characterization" Actuators 10, no. 5: 94. https://doi.org/10.3390/act10050094

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