Sensors and Actuators A, Physical vol:166 issue:1 pages:111-116
This paper investigates the development of miniature McKibben actuators. Due to their compliancy, high actuation force, and precision, these actuators are on the one hand interesting for medical applications such as prostheses and instruments for surgery and on the other hand for industrial applications such as for assembly robots. During this research, pneumatic McKibben actuators have been miniaturized to an outside diameter of 1.5 mm and a length ranging from 22 mm to 62 mm. These actuators are able to achieve forces of 6 N and strains up to about 15% at a supply pressure of 1 MPa. The maximal actuation speed of the actuators measured during this research is more than 350 mm/s. Further, positioning experiments with a laser interferometer and a PI controller revealed that these actuators are able to achieve sub-micron positioning resolution. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.