Air muscle is essentially a robotic actuator which is replacing the conventional pneumatic cylinders at a rapid pace. Due to their low production costs and very high power to weight ratio, as high as 400:1, the preference for Air Muscles is increasing. Air Muscles find huge applications in biorobotics and development of fully functional prosthetic limbs, having superior controlling as well as functional capabilities compared with the current models.
Robotic actuators conventionally are pneumatic or hydraulic devices. They have many inherent disadvantages like low operational flexibility, high safety requirements, and high cost operational as well as constructional etc. The search for an actuator which would satisfy all these requirements ended in Air Muscles.
They are easy to manufacture, low cost and can be integrated with human operations without any large scale safety requirements. Further more they offer extremely high power to weight ratio of about 400:1. As a comparison electric motors only offer a power ration of 16:1. Air Muscles are also called McKibben actuators named after the researcher who developed it.
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