Origami-Inspired Soft Twisting Actuator

    Soft actuators have shown great advantages in compliance and morphology matched for manipulation of delicate objects and inspection in a confined space. There is an unmet need for a soft actuator that can provide torsional motion to, for example, enlarge working space and increase degrees of freedom. Toward this goal, we present origami-inspired soft pneumatic actuators (OSPAs) made from silicone. The prototype can output a rotation of more than one revolution (up to 435°), more significant than its counterparts. Its rotation ratio ( = rotation angle/aspect ratio) is more than 136°, about twice the largest one in other literature. We describe the design and fabrication method, build the analytical model and simulation model, and analyze and optimize the parameters. Finally, we demonstrate the potentially extensive utility of the OSPAs through their integration into a gripper capable of simultaneously grasping and lifting fragile or flat objects, a versatile robot arm capable of picking and placing items at the right angle with the twisting actuators, and a soft snake robot capable of changing attitude and directions by torsion of the twisting actuators.



Diancheng Li, Dongliang Fan, Renjie Zhu, Qiaozhi Lei, Yuxuan Liao, Xin Yang, Yang Pan, Zheng Wang, Yang Wu, Sicong Liu, and Hongqiang Wang*. Origami-Inspired Soft Twisting Actuator. Soft Robotics , Early Access.