For grasping (unknown) objects, soft pneumatic actuators are primarily designed to bend towards a specific direction. Due to the flexibility of material and structure, soft actuators are also prone to out-of-plane deformations including twisting and sidewards bending, especially if the loading is asymmetric. In this paper, we demonstrate the negative effects of out-of-plane deformation on grasping. A structural design is proposed to reduce this type of deformation and thus improve grasping stability. Comparisons are first performed on soft pneumatic actuators with the same bending stiffness but different resistances to out-of-plane deformation, which is realized by changing the cross-section of the inextensible layer. To reduce out-of-plane deformation, a stiffening structure inspired by spatial flexures is integrated into the soft actuator. The integrated design is 3D printed using a single material. Physical experiments have been conducted to verify the improved grasping stability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 2nd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
Place of PublicationDanvers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-9260-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-9261-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2019 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 14 Apr 201918 Apr 2019


Conference2019 IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2019
CountryKorea, Republic of

ID: 54760053