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Title: Design, Characterization, and Dynamic Modeling of BEAST: a Bistable Elastomeric Actuator for Swift Tasks
Recent work in fluid-driven soft robots has demonstrated the potential to achieve high power-to-weight ratios, low fabrication costs, and improved safety, making them well suited for interactive tasks. However, the low speed of pneumatic actuation prevents use of these robots in more dynamic tasks. This paper aims to design, characterize, and model a bistable elastomeric actuator for swift tasks (BEAST). This actuator enables both fast actuation and mechanical compliance, and is designed by integrating silicone and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in a bendy straw structure. The BEAST contains three states - compressed, natural, and stretched states. Two operation modes - compressed and stretched modes, are defined to model the continuous elongation dynamics before and after the quickly switching around the natural state. A set of design rules and a novel fabrication method are presented to develop the BEAST. The actuator characterization shows that the maximum extension ratio, snapping speed, and output force of the BEAST to be 0.58, 1.5m/s, and 48N, respectively. A hybrid linear parameter varying (HLPV) model is developed to describe the pressure-dependent dynamics of the actuator. The actuators are evaluated in an object sorting task where both fast and gentle behaviors are demonstrated.
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2022 IEEE 5th International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
390 to 395
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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