Soft Planar Actuator using Pneumatic-Rubber Balls
Toshiro Noritsugu, Daijyu Kaneshiro and Takashi Inoue
Faculty of Engineering, Okayama University
The manipulation of fragile and shapeless objects requires an actuator with enough flexibility and safety not to injure manipulated objects. To cope with such requirements, soft actuators have been developed, most of which utilize elastic deformation of a rubber tube or balloon caused by compressed air pressure. Such a pneumatic rubber actuator is expected to be effectively used as a flexible and friendly soft actuator in various fields. In this study, to realize a flexible pneumatic carrier system, a soft planar actuator using rubber balls has been developed assuming that the actuator directly contacts carried objects. This paper describes a fundamental principle of operation, a control method and experimental results. Additionally, a small sized soft planar actuator made of silicone rubber is described. The results show the effectiveness of the proposed actuator mechanism.
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