Scratch built air muscles

airmuscle2

We first talked about air muscles in 2005 while lusting after Shadow Robotic’s dexterous hand. The pneumatic devices are known for being lightweight and compliant. They’re designed to be used in robot arms and legs. [jelengar] stumbled across this guide to building your own air muscles. We’re not exactly sure what the original source is since it reads like a machine translation. The core is a piece of silicone tubing used in aquariums. It’s sealed at one end with a bolt. Braided electrical sheathing is slid over the tube and secured using multiple wraps of 24gauge wire. They say to test it using 20psi, but there’s no mention of what the limits are.

9 thoughts on “Scratch built air muscles

  1. Old news is SO EXCITING! I first read that ‘anthroform arm’ project (it’s the one with the white colored sleeve) in the late nineties for g-d’s sake.

  2. I’ve made these before too, they’re super simple. Some free used bike tubes from a bike shop (just ask) and some of that finger-trap style expandable sheathing for running wires and such (frys, mcmaster, etc) and they’re pretty simple. Bike tires run at 60psi or so (mountain bike) so I’d stay under that, but they’re not hard to make.

    Why has the tech not taken off? Air powered stuff still needs a pump and valves and possibly a tank, which makes it a pain to setup, and not very compact. That’s why I’ve never done anything with them anyway.
    -Taylor

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