Abstract

Soft robots driven by pressurized fluid have recently been attracted more attention and achieved a variety of innovative applications in bionics, medical surgery, rehabilitation, search, and rescue system. And they have been demonstrated to be able to perform many different tasks, especially in some conditions of demand a high degree of compliance. Generally, they consisted of multiple actuate channels that require independent works. Consequently, a mass of pressure regulators and input pipelines are demanded, which will increase the complexity of the control system. To solve this problem, we propose a new pressure control method inspired by the control bus of electronic interface technology in this paper. An addressable pressure control bus system based on band-pass valve (BPV) and square wave of pressure (control signal) was designed. It consisted of a pressure supply source and an addressing signal, they are controled by two regulators, respectively. One of the pressure pipelines serves as the control bus to transmit the control pressure signal, which plays an addressing signal role in the system. The other serves as the pressure supply source of the multi-channel actuators. The BPV can be set to different opening pressure bands to realize the setting of diverse outputs address codes on the bus. This method discovered the work mode of double-input multi-output, which will get rids of the traditional control method of single-input single-output. In this paper, we designed the BPV and tested its function. To demonstrate the feasibility of this method proposed, a control system with two output ports was established. The result has shown that the output port can be selected by the pressure square wave signal, which realizes the function of single input multiple outputs. It reduces the complexity of the control strategy of the fluid control system.

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