Year

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering

Abstract

An emerging topic in robotics research is the development of a robot with soft characteristics to perform complicated locomotion in various environments. Developing an actuator that can be used in soft robotics is a bottleneck in robotics research. Soft pneumatic actuators (SPAs) offer significant potential to be used in soft robotic applications, especially for bio-inspired robots, because of their remarkable properties of compliance and inherent safety. To realise these soft robotic applications, there is an increasing need to design, optimise and fabricate function-specific flexible pneumatic actuators. Therefore, the objectives of this thesis were to establish a methodology for structural optimisation of SPAs and develop pneumatic actuation systems with a specific function that could be used in various soft robotic applications.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.