In the area of Robotics, the gripper plays a very important role as it is required to hold and place the object at the desired location. The requirements of gripper in terms of load capacity, and flexibility to adapt to the form of the object with tactile sensing capability which suit the strength of the object are necessary. Extensive research work is under way in the design of soft gripper or dexterous hand. An exhaustive survey of all such grippers conveys the idea of higher and higher sophistication with innumerable components and elaborate controls with programmable ability has been the outcome of research. Flexible micro actuators (FMA) proposed by earlier researchers are having two or more internal chambers and the internal pressure of each are controlled independently through flexible tubes which are connected to pressure control valves. The proposed actuator has a single internal chamber and is simple, compact and easy to manufacture. In this paper, a flexible microactuator (FMA) driven by a pneumatic/ hydraulic system with single internal chamber has been developed for robotic soft gripper. By proper selection and manufacturing of the asymmetric tube flexible actuator with reinforcement, a versatile dexterous hand can be fabricated which is suited for dynamic application closely approximating to the human hand. The present work has paved the way for extensive research on this innovative technique as it holds out the true potential for innumerable and very interesting application in various areas such as micro robots, pipeline inspection robots, underwater robots and walking robots. ©2010 IEEE.
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Dr. Ganesh Udupa, Pramod Sreedharan, and Aditya, K., “Robotic gripper driven by flexible microactuator based on an innovative technique”, in Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts, ARSO, Seoul, 2010, pp. 111-116.