Elastic Inflatable Actuators for Soft Robotic Applications

Benjamin Gorissen, Dominiek Reynaerts, Satoshi Konishi, Kazuhiro Yoshida, Joon-Wan Kim, Michael De Volder
2017 Advanced Materials  
The 20 th century's robotic systems have been made out of stiff materials and much of the developments in the field have pursued ever more accurate and dynamic robots which thrive in industrial automation settings and will probably continue to do so for many decades to come. However, the 21 st century's robotic legacy may very well become that of soft robots. This emerging domain is characterized by continuous soft structures that simultaneously fulfil the role of robotic link and robotic
more » ... or, where prime focus is on design and fabrication of the robotic hardware instead of software control to achieve a desired operation. These robots are anticipated to take a prominent role in delicate tasks where classic robots fail, such as in minimally invasive surgery, active prosthetics and automation tasks involving delicate irregular objects. Central to the development of these robots is the fabrication of soft actuators to generate movement. This paper reviews a particularly attractive type of soft actuators that are driven by pressurized fluids. These actuators have recently gained substantial traction on the one hand due to the technology push from better simulation tools and new manufacturing technologies including softlithography and additive manufacturing, and on the other hand by a market pull from the applications listed above. This paper provides an overview of the different advanced soft actuator configurations, their design, fabrication and applications.
doi:10.1002/adma.201604977 pmid:28949425 fatcat:jdpvffhkybewhflsezifrkcun4