New Pneumatic Rubber Leg Mechanism for Omnidirectional Locomotion
Mohamed Najib Ribuan, Koichi Suzumori, and Shuichi Wakimoto
Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-naka, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8530, Japan
This paper describes a new pneumatic rubber leg mechanism for omnidirectional locomotion. The new mechanism was adopted from a pneumatic balloon actuator where translation and bending motions are produced as a result of balloon deformation. It was constructed using five chambers: one on the top and centered over four bottom chambers arranged in a square. Several possible designs were simulated to achieve the optimal design using a non-linear finite element analysis that considered the design parameters and the geometrical and material non-linearity of the elements. Prototyping was then performed using a rapid and efficient silicone rubber molding fabrication process based on computer-aided design and manufacturing. The experimental results were in good agreement with the analytical results. In conclusion, we have established a new rubber leg mechanism with a high degree of freedom to realize omnidirectional locomotion for a soft robot base, delicate object conveyance, and / or microscope stage applications.
-  T. Fukuda, H. Hosokai, and M. Uemura, “Rubber gas actuator driven by hydrogen storage alloy for in-pipe inspection mobile robot with flexible structure,” Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 1847-1852, 1989.
-  N. Yee and G. Coghill, “Modelling of a novel rotary pneumatic muscle,” Proc. Australiasian Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 186-190, 27-29, Nov. 2002.
-  K. Iwata, K. Suzumori, and S. Wakimoto, “A method of designing and fabricating Mckibben muscle driven by 7 Mpa hydraulics,” Int. J. of Automation Technology, Vol.6, No.4, pp. 482-487, 2012.
-  K. Suzumori, S. Iikura, and H. Tanaka, “Flexible microactuator for miniature robots,” Proc. MEMS, pp. 204-209, 1991.
-  K. Suzumori, A. Koga, and R. Haneda, “Microfabrication of integrated FMAs using stereo lithography,” Proc. IEEE Workshop on MEMS, pp. 136-141, 1994.
-  K. Suzumori, S. Endo, T. Kanda, N. Kato, and H. Suzuki, “A bending pneumatic rubber actuator realizing soft-bodied manta swimming robot,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4975-4980, 2007.
-  K. Suzumori and S. Asaad, “A novel pneumatic rubber actuator for mobile robot,” Proc. IROS 1996, pp. 1001-1006.
-  S. Konishi, F. Kawai, and P. Cusin, “Thin flexible end-effector using pneumatic balloon actuator,” Sensor and Actuators, A 89, pp. 28-35, 2001.
-  N. Saga, J. Nagase, and T. Saikawa, “Development of a tendon driven system using a pneumatic balloon,” Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. on Mechatronics & Automation, July 2005, pp. 1087-1092.
-  W. Choi, M. Akbarian, V. Rubtsov, and C. Kim, “Microhand with internal visual system,” IEEE Trans. On Industrial Electronics, Vol.56, No.4, pp. 1005-1011, Apr. 2009.
-  T. Chishiro, T. Ono, and S. Konishi, “Pantograph mechanism for conversion from swelling into contraction motion of pneumatic balloon actuator,” IEEE Int. Conf. on MEMS, pp. 532-535, 2013.
-  A. Alogla, P. Scanlan, W. M. Shu, and R. L. Reuben, “A scalable syringe-actuated microgripper for biological manipulation,” Sensor and Actuators A: Physical 2013, pp. 1-5.
-  T. Noritsugu, H. Yamamoto, D. Sasaki, and M. Takaiwa, “Wearable power assist device for hand grasping using pneumatic artificial rubber mucscle,” IEEE Int. Workshop on ROMAN, pp. 420-425, 2004.
-  K. Ogura, S. Wakimoto, K. Suzumori, and Y. Nishioka, “Micro pneumatic curling actuator – Nematode actuator –,” Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Biomimetics 2008, pp. 462-467.
-  F. Ilievski, A. D. Mazzeo, R. F. Shepherd, X. Chen, and G. M. Whitesides, “Soft robotics for chemists,” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, pp. 1890-1895.
-  B. A. Jones, W. McMahan, and I. Walker, “Design and analysis of a novel pneumatic manipulator,” Proc. 3rd IFAC, 2004.
-  G. Chen, M. T. Pham, and T. Redarce, “Development and kinematic analysis of a silicone-rubber bending tip for colonoscopy,” Proc. IEEE/ RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2006, pp. 168-173.
-  I. S. Godage, D. T. Branson, E. Guglielmino, and D. G. Caldwell, “Pneumatic muscle actuated continuum arms: modelling and experimental assessment,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation 2012, pp. 4980-4985.