Design and Characterization of a Miniature Hydraulic Power Supply for High-Bandwidth Control of Soft Robotics

Damiano Padovani, Eric J. Barth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soft robotics holds enormous promise for a wide class of applications. However, system controllability, bandwidth, portability, and energy efficiency of soft robot power supplies are often inadequate. Soft robotics desperately needs improved solutions to drive soft actuators either pneumatically or hydraulically. This research paper offers a contribution to bridge this gap. It deals with small-scale power supplies for hydraulically-driven soft robots based on fluidic elastomer actuators in the power range 5-400 W. A design procedure for such power supplies is developed with an emphasis on high-bandwidth control. The performance requirements are established based on a literature survey, and design alternatives are discussed. Then, a prototype consisting of a 0.102 c3/rev positive-displacement, external gear pump directly driven by a 70 W brushless dc motor is built and experimentally characterized. Control of the targeted soft robots results possible because the proposed power supply has high-bandwidth varying between about 12 and 30 Hz (i.e., well above the actuators' mechanical frequency). The power supply's energy efficiency is also measured, and areas for its improvement are identified. The proposed solution is feasible, applicable to autonomous soft robots, scalable to the power levels of interest, and possibly useful for both tethered soft robots and rigid/semi-rigid robots.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages345-350
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728165707
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020 - New Haven, United States
Duration: 15 May 202015 Jul 2020

Publication series

Name2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020

Conference

Conference3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Haven
Period15/05/2015/07/20

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Design and Characterization of a Miniature Hydraulic Power Supply for High-Bandwidth Control of Soft Robotics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this