Next Article in Journal
Experimental Investigations on Self-Bearing Motors with Combined Torque and Electrodynamic Bearing Windings
Next Article in Special Issue
Shape Memory Polymer Composite Actuator: Modeling Approach for Preliminary Design and Validation
Previous Article in Journal
Carbon Nanostructures for Actuators: An Overview of Recent Developments
Previous Article in Special Issue
Mechanical Simplification of Variable-Stiffness Actuators Using Dielectric Elastomer Transducers
Open AccessArticle

A Vacuum Powered Soft Textile-Based Clutch

Center for MicroBioRobotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), 56025 Pontedera, Pisa, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Actuators 2019, 8(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/act8020047
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 2 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Materials and Designs for Soft Actuators)
We present the design, manufacturing, and characterization of a soft textile-based clutch (TBC) that uses vacuum stimulation to switch between locking and unlocking its linear displacement. The vacuum locks the relative sliding motion between two elaborated textile webbings with an elastic silicone rubber bag. Various fabrication techniques, such as silicone casting on textiles and melt embossing for direct fabrication of miniature patterns on textile and sewing, were used to develop three groups of TBC samples based on friction and interlocking principles. Their performance was compared in a blocking configuration. The clutch with an interlocking mechanism presented the highest withstanding force (150 N) compared to that (54 N) recorded for the friction-based clutch. The simple and compact structure of the proposed clutch, together with the intrinsic adaptability of fabric with other clothing and soft materials, make it an appropriate solution for applications in soft wearable robotics and generally as a locking and variable stiffness solution for soft robotic applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft clutch; soft robotics; textile-based clutch; wearable robotics; soft actuator; exosuit; variable stiffness; stiffness control; textiles soft clutch; soft robotics; textile-based clutch; wearable robotics; soft actuator; exosuit; variable stiffness; stiffness control; textiles
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Sadeghi, A.; Mondini, A.; Mazzolai, B. A Vacuum Powered Soft Textile-Based Clutch. Actuators 2019, 8, 47.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop