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Title: Development and Demonstration of an Orderly Recruitment Valve for Fluidic Artificial Muscles
Variable recruitment fluidic artificial muscle (FAM) bundles consist of multiple FAMs arranged in motor units that are sequentially activated as load demand increases. The conventional configuration of a variable recruitment FAM bundle requires a valve for each motor unit, which is referred to as a multi-valve system (MVS). As each motor unit within the bundle is selectively recruited, this configuration is highly adaptable and flexible in performance. However, as the number of motor units increases, the valve network can become complex and heavy in its design. To decrease complexity and weight, the concept of an orderly recruitment valve (ORV) has been proposed and analyzed. The ORV allows multiple motor units to be controlled using a single valve that recruits and pressurizes all motor units. The ORV concept consists of a spool valve with multiple outlet ports and a motor unit connected to each port. A linear actuator controls the position of the spool, allowing fluid flow into each port in succession. Naturally, de-recruitment happens in reverse order. The objective of the ORV is to strike a balance between performance and compactness of design. The purpose of this paper is to present analytical modeling that can be used to understand the more » behavior and performance of an ORV system and develop an experimental proof-of-concept that illustrates the ORV operation in hardware. A pneumatic ORV prototype was constructed and used to actuate two FAMs sequentially, each representing a motor unit. The results demonstrate the ORV as a compact system with which a variable recruitment bundle with multiple recruitment states can be controlled. « less
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Proceedings of the ASME 2020 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems SMASIS2020
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract Biological musculature employs variable recruitment of muscle fibers from smaller to larger units as the load increases. This orderly recruitment strategy has certain physiological advantages like minimizing fatigue and providing finer motor control. Recently fluidic artificial muscles (FAM) are gaining popularity as actuators due to their increased efficiency by employing bio-inspired recruitment strategies such as active variable recruitment (AVR). AVR systems use a multi-valve system (MVS) configuration to selectively recruit individual FAMs depending on the load. However, when using an MVS configuration, an increase in the number of motor units in a bundle corresponds to an increase in the number of valves in the system. This introduces greater complexity and weight. The objective of this paper is to propose, analyze, and demonstrate an orderly recruitment valve (ORV) concept that enables orderly recruitment of multiple FAMs in the system using a single valve. A mathematical model of an ORV-controlled FAM bundle is presented and validated by experiments performed on a proof-of-concept ORV experiment. The modeling is extended to explore a case study of a 1-DOF robot arm system consisting of an electrohydraulic pressurization system, ORV, and a FAM-actuated rotating arm plant and its dynamics are simulated to further demonstrate themore »capabilities of an ORV-controlled closed-loop system. An orderly recruitment strategy was implemented through a model-based feed forward controller. To benchmark the performance of the ORV, a conventional MVS with equivalent dynamics and controller was also implemented. Trajectory tracking simulations on both the systems revealed lower tracking error for the ORV controlled system compared to the MVS controlled system due to the unique cross-flow effects present in the ORV. However, the MVS, due to its independent and multiple valve setup, proved to be more adaptable for performance. For example, modifications to the recruitment thresholds of the MVS demonstrated improvement in tracking error, albeit with a sacrifice in efficiency. In the ORV, tracking performance remained insensitive to any variation in recruitment threshold. The results show that compared to the MVS, the ORV offers a simpler and more compact valving architecture at the expense of moderate losses in control flexibility and performance.« less
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