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Research Papers

A McKibben Type Sleeve Pneumatic Muscle and Integrated Mechanism for Improved Stroke Length

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael F. Cullinan

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College,
Dublin D02 F859, Ireland
e-mail: cullinmf@tcd.ie

Eamonn Bourke

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College,
Dublin D02 F859, Ireland
e-mail: bourkeea@tcd.ie

Kevin Kelly

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College,
Dublin D02 F859, Ireland
e-mail: kekelly@tcd.ie

Conor McGinn

Department of Mechanical and
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Dublin, Trinity College,
Dublin D02 F859, Ireland
e-mail: mcginnc@tcd.ie

Manuscript received September 9, 2016; final manuscript received December 5, 2016; published online January 11, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Marcia K. O'Malley.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(1), 011013 (Jan 11, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1266; doi: 10.1115/1.4035496 History: Received September 09, 2016; Revised December 05, 2016

Sleeve pneumatic muscles have shown significant performance improvements over conventional air muscle design, offering increased energy efficiency, force output, and stroke length, while allowing the actuator to become a structural component. However, there remain comparatively few studies involving sleeve muscles, and current applications have not focused on their potential advantages for joints actuated antagonistically with two muscles or their application to a more general class of pneumatic artificial muscle. This research presents a modular sleeve muscle design using the McKibben type construction, with a separate membrane and braid. To further increase stroke length, an internal pulley mechanism is implemented. The performance of the sleeve muscle is compared to an equivalent unaltered muscle and shows substantial improvements in force output, stroke length, and energy efficiency. Further testing shows that the internal pulley mechanism increased the effective stroke length by 82%, albeit at the cost of reduced maximum force output.

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Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Muscle , Pulleys , Design
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The sleeve muscle actuator concept: (a) relaxed muscle and (b) contracted muscle

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Fig. 2

The modeled performance of a traditional and sleeve muscle over the full range of contraction. The muscle modeled has a length of 0.2 m, diameter of 40 mm, and central element diameter of 38 mm: (a) shows the force output with a constant internal muscle pressure of 410 kPa (60 psi) and (b) shows the pressure required to provide an output force of 500 N over the contractile range.

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Fig. 3

The volume, pressure, and mass ratios of a sleeve muscle in comparison with a traditional muscle at constant output force

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Fig. 4

A conceptual antagonistically actuated joint using two sleeve muscles. A cable drive system is used to transfer force to the joint from the muscles and the central elements of the muscles are used to support the joint and child link.

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Fig. 5

The output torque provided by four individual muscles on a joint actuated as in Fig. 4 with an internal gauge pressure of 500 kPa. In each case, a pulley that is twice the relaxed diameter of the muscle is used.

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Fig. 6

A cross section of the sleeve muscle

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Fig. 7

The sliding sleeve muscle end fitting with the capable configured to pull directly (a) and using the pulley mechanism (b)

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Fig. 8

The manufactured sleeve muscle actuator in a relaxed state (a) and a partially contracted state (b)

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Fig. 10

Isometric force outputs for the traditional and sleeve muscle at a range of muscle internal pressures: (a) traditional PAM and (b) sleeve PAM

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Fig. 11

Performance of traditional and sleeve muscles over the full range of contraction: (a) shows the force output with an internal muscle pressure of 410 kPa and (b) shows the pressure required to provide a force of 500 N

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Fig. 12

The energy saving of the sleeve muscle in comparison with the traditional muscle when the output force is 500 N

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Fig. 13

Hysteresis tests at 0% contraction. The direction of the arrows indicates the time line of the test: (a) traditional PAM and (b) sleeve PAM.

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Fig. 14

Test results of the traditional muscle and both direct drive and pulley configurations of the sleeve muscle at 276 kPa (40 psi) operating pressure

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