Summer Student Project: Inflatable Actuators

Pulling a wax-filled silicone balloon out of a mold

Pulling a wax-filled silicone balloon out of a mold

We had a physics student from Berea College, Fidel Tewolde, in our lab during summer 2013. His project was to create inflatable silicone actuators to drive our bistable beams from one state to another. With a bistable skeleton, you might be able to save a considerable amount of power by shutting off the air pressure when the actuator has flipped! Thanks to a great tutorial on printing your own robot, Fidel was able to get going fast. See the rest of this post for more photos.
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