Honeycomb structures are masses of regularly arranged hexagonal prismatic wax cells constructed by honey bees in their nests for containing their larvae and storing honey and pollen.

 A honeycomb shaped structure can provide a material with minimal density and relative high out-of-plane compression and shear properties. Engineers have applied the honeycomb structure to numerous engineering and scientific applications.  honeycomb

Inspired by the honeycomb, a novel structure coined 'honeycomb pneumatic network' was esablished as part of this actuator. Honeycomb has the property of high elongation rate and crush resistance, while the pneumatic networks system is lightweight, rapidly responsive and environmentally benign. HPN combines these properties by placing pneumatic units inside the honeycomb-shaped structure.

Design overview 

The HPN manipulator documented here consists of a honeycomb-shaped frame and a series of pneumatic networks arranged within. The manipulator can be constructed upon several segments with different parameters. Each segment contains four pneumatic network groups, each consisting of 8 chambers connected consecutively.

These pictures show an overview of single segment of HPN manipulator and it's deformation in two different directions.