Selection of Artificial Muscle Actuators for a Continuum Manipulator
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Description: Artificial muscle actuators have become a popular choice as actuation units for robotic applications, particularly in the growing area of soft robotics. The precise specification of an artificial muscle actuator for a particular application requires the consideration of several parameters that work together to achieve the performance characteristics of the actuator. This paper explores the specification of artificial muscle actuator parameters by presenting and applying the analytical description of the actuator, simulation by finite element method for investigating material stresses under a wide variety of configurations, and a specific parameter selection process. This is followed by an experimental validation using an example actuator to compare against the predicted actuator performance. Some discussion of appropriateness of this type of actuator as a candidate solution for use in the example application of a dexterous continuum manipulator is included. This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication.