Curved Type Pneumatic Artificial Rubber Muscle Using Shape-Memory Polymer
Kazuto Takashima*1,*2, Toshiro Noritsugu*3, Jonathan Rossiter*2,*4,
Shijie Guo*5, and Toshiharu Mukai*2
*1Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 2-4 Hibikino, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu 808-0196, Japan
*2Advanced Science Institute, RIKEN, 2271-130 Anagahora, Shimoshidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya 463-0003, Japan
*3Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-naka, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8530, Japan
*4Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK
*5SR Laboratory, Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd., 1 Higashi 3-chome, Komaki 485-8550, Japan
A novel pneumatic artificial muscle actuator is presented which is based on the design of a conventional curved type pneumatic bellows actuator. By inhibiting the extension of one side with fiber reinforcement, bending motion can be induced when air is supplied to the internal bladder. In this study, we developed a new actuator by replacing the fiber reinforcement with a Shape-Memory Polymer (SMP). The SMP can be deformed above its glass transition temperature (Tg) and maintains a rigid shape after it is cooled below Tg. When next heated above Tg, it returns to its initial shape. When only part of our actuator is warmed above Tg, only that portion of the SMP is soft and can actuate. Therefore, the direction of the motion can be controlled by heating. Moreover, our actuator can be deformed by an external force above Tg and fixed by cooling it below Tg.
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