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The DOHELIX-muscle: A novel technical muscle for bionic robots and actuating drive applications

: Staab, Harald; Sonnenburg, Arne; Hieger, Christoph


IEEE Robotics and Automation Society:
IEEE Case 2007, Third Annual IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering. CD-ROM : September 22-25, 2007, Scottsdale, USA
New Orleans: Omnipress, 2007
ISBN: 1-4244-1154-8
ISBN: 978-1-4244-1154-2
Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE) <3, 2007, Scottsdale/Ariz.>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
technischer Muskel; Doppelhelix; DOHELIX; Prothese; Roboterarm; Bionik

In this paper a new concept of a technical muscle is presented. The proposed muscle is based on standard components and is scalable in many respects: size, weight, power, speed, price, and quality. It is composed of a turning shaft with small diameter and a high-strength and highly flexible plaited cord. The shaft may be driven by a small DC-motor, possibly in combination with a gearbox. This makes design, power supply, and control quite easy compared to other types of artificial muscles such as pneumatic, hydraulic, shape memory alloy, and electro-active polymer muscles. With appropriate measures in design it will be able to meet various application requirements such as wide temperature range and high IP rating. Moreover, with careful selection and dimensioning of components a very high degree of efficiency, a very high power to weight ratio, and high dependability may be achieved. The muscle is applicable as an actuating drive in industrial environments as well as for bionic robot mechanisms with biomimetic and undulatory motion. The name DOHELIX is an acronym for "double helix", a shape resulting from contraction of the muscle.