The necessity of the soft gripping devices is increasing day-by-day in medical robotics especially when safe, gentle motions and soft touch are necessary. In this paper, a novel asymmetric bellow flexible pneumatic actuator (AFPA) has been designed and fabricated to construct a miniaturised soft gripper that could be used to grip small objects. The model of AFPA is designed using solid works and its bending motion is simulated in Abacus software for optimisation and compared with experimental results. The actuator is fabricated using compression moulding process that includes micro machining of the moulds. Experiments conducted show the bending characteristics of the actuator at different pressures. The actuator shows excellent bending performance and the eccentricity in its design supports increased bending or curling motion up to a certain extent compared to normal bellows without eccentricity. The effects of profile shape and eccentricity on the actuator performance are analysed and the results are presented.
G. Udupa, Sreedharan, P., P Dinesh, S., and Kim, D., “Asymmetric bellow flexible pneumatic actuator for miniature robotic soft gripper”, International Journal of Robotics, vol. 2014, 2014.