Slit Tubes For Semi-Soft Pneumatic Actuators

This invention is a new approach to soft or ‘semi-soft’ pneumatic actuators, referred to as SLiT actuators. The approach consists of inflating an elastomeric balloon, enclosed by an external shell. The resulting design produces a variety of motions, including bending, twisting, contraction, and elongation. The pressure required for actuation is dependent on the length of the slits. This enables sequential actuation, by controlling the applied pressure. Different actuators can also be controlled using external “sliders” that act as reprogrammable “on-off” switches. A pneumatic arm, and a walker, constructed from SLiT actuators demonstrate their ease of fabrication and the range of motions they can achieve.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending