Inspired by nature, soft robotics aims at enhancing robots capabilities through the use of soft materials. This article presents the study of soft continuum robots which can change their dynamic behavior thanks to a proper design of their damping properties. It enables an under-actuated dynamic strategy to control multi-chamber pneumatic systems using a reduced number of feeding lines. The present work starts from the conceptual investigation of a way to tune the damping properties of soft continuum robots, and leverages on the introduction of viscous fluid within the soft chamber wall to produce dissipative actions. Several solutions are analyzed in simulations and the most promising one is tested experimentally. The proposed approach employs a layer of granular material immersed in viscous silicone oil to increase the damping effect. After validation and experimental characterization, the method is employed to build soft continuum actuators with different deformation patterns, i.e., extending, contracting and bending. Experimental results show the dynamic behavior of the presented actuators. Finally, the work reports information on how the actuators are designed and builded, together with a discussion about possible applications and uses.

Dynamic Morphological Computation Through Damping Design of Soft Continuum Robots

Di Lallo, Antonio;Catalano, Manuel G.;Garabini, Manolo;Grioli, Giorgio;Gabiccini, Marco;Bicchi, Antonio
2019-01-01

Abstract

Inspired by nature, soft robotics aims at enhancing robots capabilities through the use of soft materials. This article presents the study of soft continuum robots which can change their dynamic behavior thanks to a proper design of their damping properties. It enables an under-actuated dynamic strategy to control multi-chamber pneumatic systems using a reduced number of feeding lines. The present work starts from the conceptual investigation of a way to tune the damping properties of soft continuum robots, and leverages on the introduction of viscous fluid within the soft chamber wall to produce dissipative actions. Several solutions are analyzed in simulations and the most promising one is tested experimentally. The proposed approach employs a layer of granular material immersed in viscous silicone oil to increase the damping effect. After validation and experimental characterization, the method is employed to build soft continuum actuators with different deformation patterns, i.e., extending, contracting and bending. Experimental results show the dynamic behavior of the presented actuators. Finally, the work reports information on how the actuators are designed and builded, together with a discussion about possible applications and uses.
2019
Di Lallo, Antonio; Catalano, Manuel G.; Garabini, Manolo; Grioli, Giorgio; Gabiccini, Marco; Bicchi, Antonio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/988552
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