P14253: Underwater McKibben Muscle

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

Robotic arms used in underwater applications allow users to interface with objects in depths far greater than the human body is capable of reaching. These robotic arms are used on unmanned underwater vehicles, which are employed by oil and gas companies and research organizations to interact with various objects in this high-pressure environment. Robotic arms should be able to function similarly to a human arm and have no negative effect on the surrounding environment. Current robotic arm designs utilize clamps, which lack the dexterity of hands and hydraulic cylinders, which if leaked, could harm the underwater environment.
The goals of this project are to analyze current hydraulic robotic arm designs and McKibben Muscle robotics to identify opportunities to make the arm more dexterous and eco-friendly. The expected end result is a functional prototype, which can be marketed to Boeing for further development and manufacture. The resulting design and prototype must adhere to Boeing engineering standards and any underwater vehicle standards that may apply.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Specifications)

Engineering Requirements


The constraints that will be faced in this project are:

-Having to use McKibbens Muscles

-Water actuation

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

1. Have a working prototype of an anthropomorphic manipulator using McKibbens muscles

2. Using water actuation instead of pneumatics and hydraulics to reduce the risk of environmental contamination

3. Have, yet to be specified, task(s) carried out for a demonstration for Boeing and Imagine RIT

Problem Definition Review

Problem Definition Review Presentation

PDF Version of Presentation (lacks animation)

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