Dynamic Cellular Actuator Arrays and Expanded Fingerprint Method for Dynamic Modeling
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A key step to understanding and producing natural motion is creating a physical, well understood actuator with a dynamic model resembling biological muscle. This actuator can then serve as the basis for building viable, full-strength, and safe muscles for disabled patients, rehabilitation, human force amplification, telerobotics, and humanoid robotic systems. This paper presents a cell-based flexible actuator modeling methodology and the General Fingerprint Method for systematically and efficiently calculating the actuators’ respective dynamic equations of motion. The cellular actuator arrays combine many flexible ‘cells’ in complex and varied topologies for combined large-scale motion. The cells can have varied internal dynamic models and common actuators such as piezoelectric, SMA, linear motor, and pneumatic technologies can fit the model by adding a flexible element in series with the actuator. The topology of the cellular actuator array lends it many of its properties allowing the final muscle to be catered to particular applications. The General Fingerprint Method allows for fast recalculation for different and/or changing structures and internal dynamics, and provides an intuitive base for future controls work. This paper also presents two physical SMA based cellular actuator arrays which validate the presented theory and give a basis for future development.