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Robotics 2018, 7(4), 73;

Vacuum-Actuated Bending for Grasping

Schlumberger-Doll Research, 1 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Now a Senior Associate with Exponent, 9 Strathmore Road, Natick, MA 01760, USA.
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Machines: Integrating Sensing, Actuation and Computation)
PDF [736 KB, uploaded 16 November 2018]


Soft robotic devices typically are actuated with the application of a positive pressure (compared to ambient pressure), but some exciting work has been done with negative pressure application, with advantages for safety and robustness. Here, we present a negative pressure bending actuator inspired by previous work by Yang et al., fabricated using rapid prototyping techniques and elastomeric polymers. We describe the mechanical behavior of the system from a cellular solids perspective, showing the steps needed for the analysis and characterization of future similar systems. We find good agreement between experimentally measured values of displacement and force generated in atmospheric pressure conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft robotics; soft actuators; soft sensors; manipulation; cellular solids; mechanics of slender objects soft robotics; soft actuators; soft sensors; manipulation; cellular solids; mechanics of slender objects

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Miller, J.T.; Wicks, N. Vacuum-Actuated Bending for Grasping. Robotics 2018, 7, 73.

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