Pneumatic muscles are mostly constructed out of flexible membranes and are implemented in a wide range of robotic applications. In these soft materials, perforations are often caused by overpressuring of the muscles and wear. In many cases, this leads to limited numbers of actuation cycles. In this letter, pleated pneumatic artificial muscles were developed, whose membrane is constructed out of self-healing polymer. This allows for the complete healing of microscopic and macroscopic damages through a mild heat treatment. Two prototypes were designed, manufactured, and experimentally characterized. The self-healing was validated by repairing large realistic cuts in the muscle membrane completely. Even when repeatedly damaging and healing the muscles, the mechanical properties were recovered in a reversible and repeatable fashion through the self-healing procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1109/LRA.2017.2724140
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Volume3
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2017

    Research areas

  • Soft Robotics, Self-Healing, Diels-Alder chemistry, artificial muscles

ID: 32855431