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Design, fabrication and evaluation of a 3D printed soft robotic actuator with embedded sensing

Kolkman, S.Y. (2022) Design, fabrication and evaluation of a 3D printed soft robotic actuator with embedded sensing.

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Abstract:In the field of soft robotics, researchers want to mimic the movement of soft bodies found in nature. Soft robots have the unique advantage to be able to adapt to the shape of the object they are touching and are thus often safer while working in human environments. It is however still difficult to measure the position of such a soft body accurately using internal sensors. The significant development in 3D printing technology has made it possible to print soft robots with embedded sensors. This work shows the design, fabrication and characterisation of a 3D printed pneumatic soft robotic actuator with embedded strain gauges to determine the bending angle of the actuator. The actuator and strain gauges have been printed in one go using a multi material FFF printer. The actuator contains two strain gauges such that a differential measurement can be performed. The fabricated actuator is able to bend approximately 180° and can apply a force of around 3N at 0.3MPa pressure. The differential signal of the embedded strain sensors shows an reasonable linear relation to the bending angle, while the response of each individual sensor is non-linear due to the nature of the strain gauge material. The proposed model of the actuator is based on the Euler Bernoulli beam theory. The model is however limited in describing the large deflections of the actuator. Based on this research a paper has been written for the IEEE SENSORS 2022 conference. This paper can be found in appendix A
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering BSc (56953)
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