Research Papers

Design and Control of Chemomuscle: A Liquid-Propellant-Powered Muscle Actuation System

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiangrong Shen, Daniel Christ

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama, 290 Hardaway Hall/7th Avenue, Box 870276, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 133(2), 021006 (Feb 22, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003208 History: Received December 08, 2009; Revised August 30, 2010; Published February 22, 2011; Online February 22, 2011

This paper describes the design and control of a new chemomuscle actuation system for robotic systems, especially the mobile systems inspired by biological principles. Developed based on the pneumatic artificial muscle, a chemomuscle actuation system features a high power density, as well as similar characteristics to the biological muscles. Furthermore, by introducing monopropellant (a special type of liquid fuel) as the energy storage media, the chemomuscle system leverages the high energy density of liquid fuel and provides a compact form of high-pressure gas supply with a simple structure. The introduction of monopropellant addresses the limitation of pneumatic supply on mobile devices and thus is expected to facilitate the future application of artificial muscle on biorobotic systems. In this paper, the design of a chemomuscle actuation system is presented, as well as a robust controller design that provides effective control for this highly nonlinear system. To demonstrate the proposed chemomuscle actuation system, an experimental prototype is constructed, on which the proposed control algorithm provides good tracking performance.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

(a) Structure and (b) functioning mechanism of the pneumatic artificial muscle

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Figure 2

Configurations of the chemomuscle actuation system: (a) rotational system and (b) translational system

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Figure 3

(a) Charging and (b) discharging of the muscle actuator

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Figure 4

Experimental setup of the chemomuscle actuation system

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Figure 5

Control performance in the 0.5 Hz sinusoidal tracking: (a) commanded and measured motion, (b) tracking error, and (c) valve command

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Figure 6

Control performance in the 1.0 Hz sinusoidal tracking: (a) commanded and measured motion, (b) tracking error, and (c) valve command



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