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Pleated pneumatic artificial muscles: compliant robotic actuators

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4 Author(s)
Daerden, F. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Vrije Univ., Brussels, Belgium ; Lefeber, D. ; Verrelst, B. ; Van Ham, R.

Pleated pneumatic artificial muscles (PPAMs), developed at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Mechanical Engineering, are used as robotic actuators. Their distinguishing feature is their pleated design, as a result of which their contraction forces and maximum displacement are very high compared to other pneumatic artificial muscles. The PPAM design, operation and characteristics are presented. A rotative joint actuator, made of two antagonistically coupled PPAMs, is discussed to demonstrate their suitability for robotics. It has several properties that are similar to those of skeletal joint actuators. Positioning tasks are seen to be performed very accurately using a simple PI control. Furthermore, the antagonistic actuator can easily be made to have a soft or careful touch, contributing greatly to a safe robot operation. In view of all the characteristics PPAMs are very well suited for automation and robotic applications

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Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2001. Proceedings. 2001 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on  (Volume:4 )

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