Fatigue Characteristics of McKibben Artificial Muscle Actuators

Klute, G.K. and Hannaford, B. (1998) Fatigue Characteristics of McKibben Artificial Muscle Actuators. In: Proceedings. IROS-98.

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Abstract

The McKibben artificial muscle is a pneumatic actuator whose properties include a very high force to weight ratio. This characteristic makes it very attractive for a wide range of applications such as mobile robots and prosthetic appliances for the disabled. Typical applications often require a significant number of repeated contractions and extensions or cycles of the actuator. This repeated action leads to fatigue and failure of the actuator, yielding a life span that is often shorter than its more common robotic counterparts such as electric motors or pneumatic cylinders. In this paper, we develop a model that predicts the maximum number of life cycles of the actuator based on available uniaxial tensile properties of the actuator's inner bladder. Experimental results, which validate the model, reveal McKibben actuators fabricated with natural latex rubber bladders have a fatigue limit 24 times greater than actuators fabricated with synthetic silicone rubber at large contraction ratios.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Z Other
Divisions: Department of Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Muneaki Miyasaka
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2015 23:45
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 23:43
URI: http://brl.ee.washington.edu/eprints/id/eprint/209

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