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Soft actuators and soft actuating devices

United States Patent

9,790,968
October 17, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A soft buckling linear actuator is described, including: a plurality of substantially parallel bucklable, elastic structural components each having its longest dimension along a first axis; and a plurality of secondary structural components each disposed between and bridging two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components; wherein every two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components and the secondary structural components in-between define a layer comprising a plurality of cells each capable of being connected with a fluid inflation or deflation source; the secondary structural components from two adjacent layers are not aligned along a second axis perpendicular to the first axis; and the secondary structural components are configured not to buckle, the bucklable, elastic structural components are configured to buckle along the second axis to generate a linear force, upon the inflation or deflation of the cells. Methods of actuation using the same are also described.
Yang; Dian (Cambridge, MA), Whitesides; George M. (Newton, MA)
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA)
14/ 801,961
20160017899
July 17, 2015
GOVERNMENT FUNDING CLAUSE This invention was made with support from the United States government under Grant No. DMR-0820484 awarded by the National Science Foundation, and Grant No. Del.-SC0000989 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights to this invention.