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research-article

Multiple Inputs-Single Accumulated Output Mechanism for Soft Linear Actuators

[+] Author and Article Information
Kyeong Ho Cho

Ph.D., Robotics Innova-tory Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, KS002, South Korea
woozoo@hanmail.net

Ho Moon Kim

Postdoctoral researcher, Robotics Innova-tory Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, KS002, South Korea
khm0213@me.skku.ac.kr

Youngeun Kim

Master, Robotics Innova-tory Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, KS002, South Korea
civelin@skku.edu

Sang Yul Yang

Ph.D. course student, Robotics Innova-tory Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, KS002, South Korea
didtkddbf@skku.edu

Hyouk Ryeol Choi

Professor, Robotics Innova-tory Laboratory, School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, KS002, South Korea
hrchoi@me.skku.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041632 History: Received January 10, 2018; Revised September 28, 2018

Abstract

Soft linear actuators (SLAs) such as shape memory alloy wires, pneumatic soft actuators, dielectric elastomer actuator, twisted and coiled soft actuator etc., called artificial muscle actuators in general, have many advantages over the conventional actuators. SLAs can realize innovative robotic technologies like soft robots, wearable robots, and bionic arms in the future, but further development is still needed in real applications because most SLAs do not provide large displacement enough. This paper presents a novel mechanism supplementing SLAs by accumulating the displacement of multiple SLAs. It adopts the principle of differential gears in reverse. Since the input units of the mechanism are extensible, more displacement can be accumulated by increasing the number of the input units as many as needed. The mechanism is basically used to accumulate displacements, but can be used to accumulate forces by changing its operating mode. This paper introduces the design and working principle of the mechanism and validates its operation experimentally. In addition, the mechanism is implemented on a robotic arm and its effectiveness is confirmed.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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