Flexible Pneumatic Actuators: A Comparison between The McKibben and the Straight Fibres Muscles
Carlo Ferraresi*, Walter Franco*, and Andrea Manuello Bertetto**
*Department of Mechanics, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 -10129 Torino - Italy
**Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cagliari Piazza d'Armi, 09123 Cagliari-Italy
The prototypes of a McKibben actuator and a straight fibre muscle are presented. Their experimental characteristics are shown. For both kind of typology a mathematical model, able to evaluate the traction force as a function of the contraction ratio and the supply pressure, has been developed, taking into account the geometrical dimensions of the muscles and the mechanical characteristics of the materials. The models have been validated experimentally. Finally, by means of such models, a comparison between the behaviour and performance of the two kinds of actuator has been carried out.
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