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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 3-9
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11762320902738647

A Study on the Bandwidth Characteristics of Pleated Pneumatic Artificial Muscles

Rino Versluys,1 Kristel Deckers,2 Michaël Van Damme,1 Ronald Van Ham,1 Gunther Steenackers,2 Patrick Guillaume,2 and Dirk Lefeber1

1Robotics and Multibody Mechanics Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
2Acoustics and Vibration Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Received 27 January 2009

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pleated pneumatic artificial muscles have interesting properties that can be of considerable significance in robotics and automation. With a view to the potential use of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles as actuators for a fatigue test bench (high forces and small displacements), the bandwidth characteristics of a muscle-valve system were investigated. Bandwidth is commonly used for linear systems, as the Bode plot is independent of the amplitude of the input signal. However, due to the non-linear behaviour of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles, the system's gain becomes dependent on the amplitude of the input sine wave. As a result, only one Bode plot is insufficient to clearly describe or identify a non-linear system. In this study, the bandwidth of a muscle-valve system was assessed from two perspectives: a varying amplitude and a varying offset of the input sine wave. A brief introduction to pneumatic artificial muscles is given. The concept of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles is explained. Furthermore, the different test methods and experimental results are presented.