Improved Fabrication of Soft Robotic Pad for Wearable Assistive Devices
Soft Robotic Pad (SRP), as a new class of soft pneumatic actuator (SPA), is a two-dimensional pad-like SPA that can be programmed to achieve different surface morphing. Recently, the successful fabrication has proven the feasibility of functional SRPs. However, there are issues to be solved so that the SRP can withstand high pressure for practical applications. This paper, based on the first version of the SRP fabrication method, presents some modifications in the method and discusses their pros and cons. Firstly, the incorporation of stiffness customization and patterning method into the SRP fabrication not only simplifies the SRP morphing design, but also makes many morphing modalities possible. Furthermore, the use of larger carbon-fiber rods and the channel filling process improve the SRP strength, which qualifies them to many applications. As an envisioning step, we presents a design of a wearable assistive SRP for elbow flexion. With this fabrication method, the SRP with its unique shape and morphing capabilities has great potential in wearable robotics especially for human joint rehabilitation.
Research supported by MOE Tier 2 Grant (R-397-000-281-112) awarded to Dr. Chen Hua Yeow. The authors would like to thank NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering for providing scholarship to support Yi Sun’s Ph.D. study.
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