A New Approach to Pneumatic Air Muscle and its Application in Bi-Pedal Robotics

D. Majoe, L. Widmer, and J. Gutknecht (Switzerland)


Artificial muscle, Pneumatic air muscle, ValveTechnology, Bi-pedal robotics


Pneumatic air muscle (PAM) has been available in the form of the McKibben muscle since the late 1950s. Although a number of improvements have been made to their construction there has not been any radical modification to the approach. Similarly direct acting pneumatic air valves have been optimised to a high degree however again there have been no radical improvements. A new approach to both the PAM and air valves is presented in this paper with a view to enabling the design of compact, lightweight and dynamic robots. The radical improvements are described and the advantages, method of operation and method of implementation in a bi-pedal robot are discussed. Initial analysis is presented for the actuation force characteristic, isometric and isotonic behaviours of the muscles and flow rate for the valves. The electronics supporting the bi-pedal robot prototype are explained presenting a wireless architecture utilising a flexible body area network. Current progress on the control system is also examined.

Important Links:

Go Back