Special Issue "Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuation"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hiroyuki Nabae
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ookayama, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
Interests: self-excited actuators; electrostatic/magnetic actuators; fluid actuators
Prof. Dr. Koichi Suzumori
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2 Chome-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
Interests: actuators; robotics; artificial muscle; soft robotics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soft actuators show great potential due to their different characteristics from conventional actuators. Artificial muscles receive particular attention, and have achieved attractive results in many fields including biomimetics, assisting orthoses, musculoskeletal robots, etc. This Special Issue broadly welcomes contributions related to artificial muscles and soft actuation systems, from materials to applications, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • New artificial muscles and soft actuators;
  • Design, modeling, and control methodology;
  • Materials and fabrication processes;
  • Social and industrial applications.

We believe this Special Issue provides an excellent platform for spreading your contributions in this area. We look forward to your submissions.

Dr. Hiroyuki Nabae
Prof. Dr. Koichi Suzumori
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Artificial muscles
  • Soft actuators
  • Soft robotics
  • Pneumatic actuators
  • Hydraulic actuators
  • Electro active polymers
  • Electrostatic/magnetic actuators
  • Piezoelectric elements
  • Shape memory alloy
  • Functional fluid
  • Soft actuation systems

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Fabrication of a Polyimide Film Pneumatic Actuator by Molding and Welding Processes
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080177 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
The bellows pneumatic actuator, which is made by folding a non-stretch film, has been proposed for various applications because it is easy to fabricate and is extremely thin and light. However, it has subpar durability performance, especially in the folded part of the [...] Read more.
The bellows pneumatic actuator, which is made by folding a non-stretch film, has been proposed for various applications because it is easy to fabricate and is extremely thin and light. However, it has subpar durability performance, especially in the folded part of the film. In this study, we propose an actuator with a pod structure that possesses high design flexibility and is free from folding. A method of molding a pod structure on a polyimide film was established and a pneumatic actuator was successfully fabricated by using PI films. Two types of PI film pneumatic actuators with the same curvature, bellows type, and pod type were fabricated. Both were confirmed to have equivalent output characteristics. The bending angle and generated torque of the pod-structure actuator were 34° and 3.3 mNm, respectively. In addition, the pod structure has approximately twice the durability of the bellows structure. By using the fabrication method proposed in this paper, it is possible to realize an air chamber (i.e., an actuator) that has both high durability and bending motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Modeling of Resistive Forces and Buckling Behavior in Variable Recruitment Fluidic Artificial Muscle Bundles
Actuators 2021, 10(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10030042 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
Fluidic artificial muscles (FAMs), also known as McKibben actuators, are a class of fiber-reinforced soft actuators that can be pneumatically or hydraulically pressurized to produce muscle-like contraction and force generation. When multiple FAMs are bundled together in parallel and selectively pressurized, they can [...] Read more.
Fluidic artificial muscles (FAMs), also known as McKibben actuators, are a class of fiber-reinforced soft actuators that can be pneumatically or hydraulically pressurized to produce muscle-like contraction and force generation. When multiple FAMs are bundled together in parallel and selectively pressurized, they can act as a multi-chambered actuator with bioinspired variable recruitment capability. The variable recruitment bundle consists of motor units (MUs)—groups of one of more FAMs—that are independently pressurized depending on the force demand, similar to how groups of muscle fibers are sequentially recruited in biological muscles. As the active FAMs contract, the inactive/low-pressure units are compressed, causing them to buckle outward, which increases the spatial envelope of the actuator. Additionally, a FAM compressed past its individual free strain applies a force that opposes the overall force output of active FAMs. In this paper, we propose a model to quantify this resistive force observed in inactive and low-pressure FAMs and study its implications on the performance of a variable recruitment bundle. The resistive force behavior is divided into post-buckling and post-collapse regions and a piecewise model is devised. An empirically-based correction method is proposed to improve the model to fit experimental data. Analysis of a bundle with resistive effects reveals a phenomenon, unique to variable recruitment bundles, defined as free strain gradient reversal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Position Control of the Dielectric Elastomer Actuator Based on Fractional Derivatives in Modelling and Control
Actuators 2021, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10010018 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Successful control of a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) can be a challenging task, especially if no overshoot is desired. The work presents the first use of the PIλDμ control for a dielectric elastomer actuator to eliminate the overshoot. The [...] Read more.
Successful control of a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) can be a challenging task, especially if no overshoot is desired. The work presents the first use of the PIλDμ control for a dielectric elastomer actuator to eliminate the overshoot. The mathematical model of the dielectric elastomer was established using the fractional Kelvin-Voigt model. Step responses are first tested in the Laplace domain, which gave the most satisfactory results. However, they did not represent the real model. It cannot have negative force acting on the dielectric elastomer actuator. Simulations in Matlab/Simulink were performed to obtain more realistic responses, where output of the PIλDμ controller was limited. Initial parameters for a PID control were obtained by the Wang–Juang–Chan algorithm for the first order plus death time function approximation to the step response of the model, and reused as the basis for the PIλDμ actuator control. A quasi-anti-windup method was introduced to the final control algorithm. Step responses of the PID and the PIλDμ in different domains were verified by simulation and validated by experiments. Experiments proved that the fractional calculus PIλDμ step responses exceeded performance of the basic PID controller for DEA in terms of response time, settling time, and overshoot elimination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop