Research Papers

Experimental Characterization and Control of Miniaturized Pneumatic Artificial Muscle

[+] Author and Article Information
Shanthanu Chakravarthy

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560012, India
e-mail: sc@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in

K. Aditya

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560012, India
e-mail: adityak@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in

Ashitava Ghosal

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560012, India
e-mail: asitava@mecheng.iisc.ernet.in

The Arduino Mega 2560 board also has the advantage of the availability of several PWM channels and these could be useful while designing a surgical device with many actuators. The Arduino Mega 2560 board is also very easy to program.

Manuscript received November 7, 2013; final manuscript received August 13, 2014; published online October 13, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Venketesh Dubey.

J. Med. Devices 8(4), 041011 (Oct 13, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: MED-13-1273; doi: 10.1115/1.4028420 History: Received November 07, 2013; Revised August 13, 2014

Robotic surgical tools used in minimally invasive surgeries (MIS) require miniaturized and reliable actuators for precise positioning and control of the end-effector. Miniature pneumatic artificial muscles (MPAMs) are a good choice due to their inert nature, high force to weight ratio, and fast actuation. In this paper, we present the development of miniaturized braided pneumatic muscles with an outer diameter of ∼1.2 mm, a high contraction ratio of about 18%, and capable of providing a pull force in excess of 4 N at a supply pressure of 0.8 MPa. We present the details of the developed experimental setup, experimental data on contraction and force as a function of applied pressure, and characterization of the MPAM. We also present a simple kinematics and experimental data based model of the braided pneumatic muscle and show that the model predicts contraction in length to within 20% of the measured value. Finally, a robust controller for the MPAMs is developed and validated with experiments and it is shown that the MPAMs have a time constant of ∼10 ms thereby making them suitable for actuating endoscopic and robotic surgical tools.

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Fig. 1

(a) Unpressurized (left) and pressurized (right) cross section of the silicone tube, (b) initial (left) and contracted length (right) of the braid, and (c) silicone tube and braid arranged to obtain pneumatic muscle

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Fig. 3

(a) Experimental setup for obtaining maximum force generated by the MPAM and (b) forces versus pressure for different lengths of the MPAMs

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Fig. 4

Experimental setup used for characterizing the MPAMs

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Fig. 5

Force versus contraction plots for lengths (a) 97 mm, (b) 117 mm, and (c) 143 mm

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Fig. 6

Hysteresis in the fabricated MPAMs

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Fig. 7

(a) Geometric representation of the actuator and (b) pantograph representation of the braid

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Fig. 8

Magnified view of the (a) central and (b) end section of the braid captured using digital microscope

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Fig. 9

Length versus cosine of braid angle plot for (a) 97 mm, (b) 117 mm, and (c) 143 mm

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Fig. 10

Cosine versus pressure for three MPAMs carrying an end load of 0.6 N (left) and 2.1 N (right)

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Fig. 11

Control architecture for controlling the developed MPAM

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Fig. 12

Current driver circuit for the proportional valve

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Fig 13

Controller response for gain (a) 120 and gain (b) 150

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Fig 14

(a) CAD illustration of the prototype and (b) snapshots showing the rotational motion of the endoscopic surgical device



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