Development and Attitude Control of Flexible Robot Arm with Simple Structure using Flexible Pneumatic Cylinder

Takahiro Fujikawaa, Shujiro Dohtab, Tetsuya Akagic and Feifei Zhaod

Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science 1-1 , Ridai-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama, 700-0005, Japan.


A wearable actuator needs to be flexible so as not to injure the human body. The purpose of our study is to develop a flexible and lightweight actuator which can be safe enough to be attached to the human body, and to apply it to a robot arm and rehabilitation device. New types of flexible pneumatic actuator that can be used even if the actuator is deformed by external force have been developed in our previous studies. In this paper, a robot arm using the flexible pneumatic cylinder that can realize a natural flowing movement with a multi-motion such as bending, expanding, and contracting is described. The analytical model of the robot arm is proposed for attitude control. In addition, an inexpensive quasi-servo valve using the on/off control valve is utilized in the master-slave control system to improve the control performance. As a result, the usability of the proposed robot arm and the effectiveness of the attitude control method by using the analytical model and the quasi-servo valve are confirmed.

Keywords: Flexible pneumatic cylinder, Robot arm, Attitude control, Quasi-servo valve, Accelerometer.

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