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In recent years, soft components, such as pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs), have been increasingly employed to design safer wearable devices. Despite the inherent compliance of the materials used to fabricate PAMs, the actuators are able to produce relatively large forces and work when compared to their weight. However, effective operation of these systems has traditionally required bulky external force and position sensors, which limit the maneuverability of users. To overcome these issues, inspiration was taken from organic muscles, which incorporate embedded sensors, such as Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles, to provide real-time position and force feedback for muscles. As such, a sensorized, flat, pneumatic artificial muscle (sFPAM) with embedded force and position sensors was designed and fabricated. In addition, a hyperelastic model was developed and verified through comparison with the experimentally characterized mechanical and electrical performance of the sFPAM. Furthermore, a sliding mode controller was implemented to demonstrate the feasibility of embedded sensors to provide feedback during operation. Ultimately, a lightweight, compact actuation system was designed with the ability to be seamlessly incorporated into future wearable devices.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Soft robotics
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