Linear pneumatic actuator emulates muscle motion

An alternative to pneumatic cylinders is contained in a novel method for obtaining precise, repeatable linear motion using material flexure and deformation similar to that of human muscles. New MAS Fluidic Muscle from Festo Corp. (Hauppauge, NY; Esslingen, Germany) reports advantages of size, weight, and output force compared to standard pneumatic cylinders.

01/01/2003


A 2002 EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS WINNER


MOTORS, DRIVES & MOTION CONTROL



An alternative to pneumatic cylinders is contained in a novel method for obtaining precise, repeatable linear motion using material flexure and deformation similar to that of human muscles.

New MAS Fluidic Muscle from Festo Corp. (Hauppauge, NY; Esslingen, Germany) reports advantages of size, weight, and output force compared to standard pneumatic cylinders. It offers as much as 10 times the force, but has only about 13% the weight of a metal cylinder of equal inner diameter, according to the company.

Fluidic Muscle is based on membrane-contraction, a concept that 'involves wrapping of a watertight, flexible hose with nonelastic fibers arranged in a rhomboidal fashion.' The resulting 3-D grid pattern deforms when actuated by compressed air. As internal pressure is increased, an axial pulling force develops to cause the tubular unit to contract, turning it into a linear actuator.

Fluidic Muscle has models with inner tubing diameters of 10, 20, and 40 mm, and overall lengths of 40-9,000 mm, nearly 30 ft, including end connectors. Typical actuator stroke is about 25% of the unit's physical length.

www.festo-usa.com


  • Obtains precise, repeatable linear motion using material flexure and deformation similar to that of human muscles

  • Offers as much as 10 times the force with only about 13% the weight of a metal cylinder of equal inner diameter

  • Models available with inner tubing diameters of 10, 20, and 40 mm, and overall lengths of 40-9,000 mm, or nearly 30 ft

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