Development of Three Chamber Actuator
The first iteration for the elbow of the soft-robot was the Three Chamber Actuator. It had three pockets that can the inflated by injecting pressurized air through one or combinations of two different chambers in order to obtain an elbow bend in 6 different directions, thus giving both roll and pitch.
The mold of this three chamber actuator was intricate in nature but, In order to make the removal of the inner mold core easy, the material selected was ZA13 which is more flexible in nature.
As shown in figure the part was cast and tested for different bending conditions. Later, It was realized that in order to design an elbow actuator to mimic the human elbow, Bending in only one direction was enough. Also, ZA13 had very less stiffness and thus the iteration of the elbow actuator was discarded.
Figure 1 Three Chamber Actuator mold CAD Model
Figure 2 Three Chamber Actuator mold with inner core Figure 2.1 TCA Assembled mold Figure 3 Three Chamber Actuator made from ZA13
Skills used are Solidworks, Pneumatic Control, PDMS (Silicon rubber) Molding and Casting