Flexible shape memory alloy actuators for soft robotics: Modelling and control Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1729-8806

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1729-8814

abstract

  • One of the limitations in the development of really soft robotic devices is the development of soft actuators. In recent years, our research group has developed a new flexible shape memory alloy actuator that provides more freedom of movements and a better integration in wearable robots, especially in soft wearable robots. Shape memory alloy wires present characteristics such as force/weight ratio, low weight, and noiseless actuation, which make them an ideal choice in these types of applications. However, the control strategy must take into account its complex dynamics due to thermal phase transformation. Different control approaches based on complex non-linear models and other model-free control methods have been tested on real systems. Some exoskeleton prototypes have been developed, which demonstrate the utility of this actuator and the advantages offered by these flexible actuators to improve the comfort and adaptability of exoskeletons.

keywords

  • sma materials; flexible actuator; modelling; control; soft robotics; wearable robots