Recently, many kinds of soft actuators composed of flexible materials, such as silicon rubber, have been studied in the mechatronics field with increasing attention on the artificial muscle in welfare, medical care and biotechnology. Particularly, pneumatic-driven soft actuator moves flexibly and works safely because of not electrical but pneumatic input, so that the actuator could perform effectively in the medical operations. A miniature pneumatic bending rubber actuator is a tiny pneumatic-driven soft actuator which has some chambers connected to only one tube providing compressed air and the chamber has bellows. This actuator can bend circularly in two directions and grab delicate objects such as fish eggs, by inputting pressure into its chambers. The actuator, however, has nonlinear property derived from elastomer in input-output relation. The actuator, therefore, sacrifices some degree of control performance instead of obtaining the passive flexibility to delicate objects. To solve the above problem, previous studies have shown, by the experiments, that the effectiveness of designing the nonlinear feedback control system using robust right coprime factorization based on the operator theory for control of the output angle of the actuator. However, the mathematical model used for designing the system caused modelling error because the bellows were not considered in deriving the model. The mathematical model should fit experimental value as well as possible for system design and there has been no example modelling of the micro hand having bellows. In this research, a new model of the micro hand considering its bellows with elastomer property is proposed. Moreover, a control system using the robust right coprime factorization based on the operator theory is designed for the new model. Finally, the effectiveness is shown in the experiment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas