Bending Properties of an Extensile Fluidic Artificial Muscle

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Garbulinski, J and Wereley, NM. "Bending Properties of an Extensile Fluidic Artificial Muscle" Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 9, 2022.


Low stiffness, large stroke, and axial force capabilities make Extensile Fluidic Artificial Muscles (EFAMs) a feasible soft actuator for continuum soft robots. EFAMs can be used to construct soft actuated structures that feature large deformation and enable soft robots to access large effective workspaces. Although FAM axial properties have been well studied, their bending behavior is not well characterized in the literature. Static and dynamic bending properties of a cantilevered EFAM specimen were investigated over a pressure range of 5–100 psi. The static properties were then estimated using an Euler-Bernoulli beam model and discrete elastic rod models. The experiments provided data for the determination of bending stiffness, damping ratio, and natural frequency of the tested specimen. The bending stiffness and the damping ratio were found to change fourfold over the pressure range. Experimentally validated bending properties of the EFAM presented insights into structural and control considerations of soft robots. Future work will utilize the data and models obtained in this study to predict the behavior of an EFAM-actuated continuum robot carrying payloads.


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