MORE | Fall 2019

Towards Portability of Pneumatic Wearable Devices using Low-Volume Inflatable Actuator Composites and a Portable Pneumatic Source

Health icon, disabled. A red heart with a cardiac rhythm running through it.

Common drawbacks of pneumatically-actuated soft wearable devices include tethered air supplies and slow actuation speeds. The design of efficient and portable soft-pneumatic systems necessitates new soft actuators and pneumatic sources. This work presents the design of low-volume inflatable actuator composites (IAC) for faster actuation and a portable pneumatic source for use in wearable  systems. Finite element model for the IAC is generated and validated against experimental results. Furthermore, optimization of IAC volumes and actuation speed tests are performed. The design of a portable pneumatic source along with the evaluation of maximum pressure and flows generated is also presented.

Student researcher

Souvik Poddar

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2020