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A Novel Inflatable Tendon Driven Manipulator With Constant Volume

[+] Author Affiliations
Sébastien Voisembert, Alain Riwan

CEA, LIST, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

Nazih Mechbal

PIMM, UMR-CNRS, AMPT, Paris, France

André Barraco

AMPT, Paris, France

Paper No. DETC2011-47432, pp. 1233-1242; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Tensegrity and cable driven systems are used in robotics when lightness and stiffness are required. Inflatable structures are well known as tensegrity structures. In this case the skin is the tension member and the air is the compression member. Such structures have already been used in robotics to create cable driven arms made of inflatable links separated by mechanical joints. In this paper we propose a novel inflatable manipulator in which the joints are fully integrated to the inflatable structure. This design allows us to make inflatable robots with a constant and continuous pressurized volume with no loss of strength at the joints. A mechanical model has been developed and validated by experiments. We also present an appropriate cable-based actuation system that controls the joints without coupling.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Manipulators , Tendons



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