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Towards a Constraint-Based Design of Soft Mechanisms

[+] Author Affiliations
Sreeshankar Satheeshbabu, Girish Krishnan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Paper No. DETC2016-59834, pp. V05AT07A019; 8 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 40th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5015-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Soft compliant robots and mechanisms have generated great interest due to their adaptability, and inherently safe operation. However, a systematic synthesis methodology for these devices has always remained elusive owing to complexities in geometry, and nonlinearities in deformation and material properties. This paper builds the groundwork towards a constraint based design (CBD) method for a unique class of soft robotic building blocks known as fluid-filled fiber-reinforced elastomer enclosures (FREEs). First, the constraint behavior of FREEs with varying fiber angles is mapped using an automated mobility analysis framework that is based on matrix-based kinetostatic methods. Specifically, such an analysis seeks to establish the constraint behavior of FREEs as a function of not just the global geometry, but also its local anisotropic material constituents. Then, the paper demonstrates the principle of reconfigurable constraint by combining several FREEs in series in accordance to the rules of constraint-based design. Eventual extension to actuating FREEs will enable a comprehensive synthesis methodology for soft robots.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Design



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