Soft pneumatic actuators are designed to handle large deformations and large mechanical strains. At these high values of strain, the actuator behavior is highly unpredictable. The materials employed to fabricate these actuators exhibit complex hyperelastic, viscoelastic non-linear behavior. Furthermore, fabricating soft pneumatic actuators is time consuming and it is helpful to know the performance characteristics obtainable a priori. Thus, numerical models using the finite element method (FEM) are developed to predict actuator behavior at large deformation values so as to design more efficient actuators and soft robotic components.
A set of four demos is presented in this section to guide the user step-by-step through the process of creating and testing a numerical model for the actuators using the commercial FEM software AbaqusTM . The software interfaces with the python scripts provided in the design tool and enables the automation of the design procedure by providing capabilities for geometry and material variation as input design parameters.
The following demos are provided: