Going Further

Using pressurized air is an inconvenience, but one that may be overcome. For instance at Case Western Reserve University a team of faculty and students are building a cricket micro-robot that utilizes air muscles for walking and jumping. The micro-robot will walk and jump just like its biological counterpart. What makes this project so interesting is that the micro-robot is no larger than 5 cm (2 inches) in any dimension. To power the air muscles the team made a micro-pump that supplies 35 psi for the muscles.

Robot Wars

Many of the robots used in the Robot Wars series use pneumatic devices and flippers to over turn competitive robots. It is quite conceivable to substitute air muscles for pneumatic cylinders in these robots and thereby improve the strength to weight ration. In addition alignment for these flexible pneumatic devices are very forgiving. Thereby allowing the builder an easier construction since the robot may be built with far more open tolerances.

Internet WEB Sites to visit for more information on air muscles are:

Cricket Micro-robot
http://biorobots.cwru.edu/projects/c_mrobot/c_mrobot.htm

Construction of McKibben Artificial Muscles:
http://brl.ee.washington.edu/Research_Past/Biologically_Based/Device_01_McKibben/Mckibben_Costruction.html

Powered Prosthetics Project:
http://brl.ee.washington.edu/Research_Past/Biologically_Based/Project_02_Prosthetics/Powered_Prosthetics.html

Pneumatic Robot Home Page:
http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/Neural/robot.html

Anthroform Arm Project:
http://brl.ee.washington.edu/Research_Past/Biologically_Based/Project_01_Arm/Anthroform_Arm.html

Suppliers Index:

Soft Silicon tubing PN# 75-300-016

Barnant Company
Dept 77-3397
Chicago, IL 60678-3397
847-381-7050 Telephone

Local Suppliers:

polyester braided mesh, air tubing, air valves, air couplings, 24 Gauge galvanized wire

Manual Electric Control:

5VDC Mead Isonic three way solenoid air valve
10K watt resistor
220 ohm watt resistor
Push Button Switch (Normally Open)

Commercial air muscles available from:

Images Company U.S. 718-966.3694
Shadow Robot Group U.K. 44 207700 2487

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