P16227: Inflatable Robotic Hand

Problem Definition

Table of Contents


Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

The project objectives were elaborated in detail to come up with a problem definition which satisfies all parties. Customer interviews were held, and engineering requirements were drafted. House of quality analysis was performed and use case scenarios were drafted.

Project Definition

An Inflatable Robotic Hand is a portable, mountable device that can inflate, pick up and move a tennis ball, and deflate remotely. The device will presumably be house in a container mounted on a RC car. This device will utilize some of the same principles, specifically the air muscles, used in senior design projects P14253, P09023, P08023, and P08024. This project will add the ability of inflating out of a small container.

The goals of this project are to analyze previous air muscle designs, and other inflatable robot technologies, to identify an opportunity to combine these ideas into one product. The expected results is a functional prototype that can be applied to the task. The prototype must use air for generating actuation forces while resembling a hand with a minimum of three fingers.

1 Page Project Summary

Use Cases

Use Case Scenario Flow Chart

Shows use case where user picks up a tennis ball

Shows use case where user picks up a tennis ball


Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Customer Requirements (Needs)


To decompose the Problem Statement into functions of elements needed to satisfy the customer.

Customer Requirements

Authors : Travis Emery, Tim Kremers, Andres Ulloa, Gebalanage Jayasekera, Lucas Prilenski, Dr. Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard
Last Edit: 9/3/15


Requirement Number Importance Description
C001 9 Must use air for inflation and actuation forces
C002 9 Must be able to pick up a tennis ball up to 2 in off the ground
C003 9 Must resemble a hand or fingers
C004 9 Must inflate from a container housed on an RC vehicle
C005 3 Must deflate fully back into the container
C006 9 Must be remote controlled
C007 9 Material selection must withstand inflation/deflation cycles without popping or tearing
C008 3 Use a single controller to control both the robotic arm and the RC vehicle
C009 3 Prototype and final model must be built with a $750 budget
C010 3 Move object (tennis ball) from one location to another
C011 1 Mounted camera for targeting and navigation


  1. PRP
  2. Problem Statement
  3. Customer Interviews
  4. Art North & Dr. Lamkin-Kennard.


Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)


Create a contract between the engineer and the customer where indisputable satisfaction of the engineering requirements equates to customer satisfaction


rqmt # Importance Engineering Requirement Unit Target Value Marginal Value
001 1 Air compressor power psi > 120 100
002 9 Air compressor flow rate scfm > 0.88 0.3
003 9 Inflation time sec < 2 5
004 3 Deflation time sec < 10 15
005 3 Inflation arm reach in > 6 4
006 1 Object lift distance in > 6 4
007 9 Hand grip strength psi > 20 15
008 3 Stored air volume ml > 1200 200
009 3 Stored air pressure psi < 100 80
010 9 Number of fingers on robotic hand units = 3 3
011 9 Battery life min > 90 30
012 3 Chassis load weight capacity lb < 40 120
013 9 Chassis surface mount area in^2 < 24x24 30x30
014 3 Arm container cross-sectional area in^2 < 6x6 8x8
015 1 Arm container height in < 8 10

Inputs and Source

  1. PRP
  2. Dr. Lamkin-Kennard
  3. Art North

Outputs and Destination

  1. HoQ.


From Customer Requirements

From Engineering Requirements

House of Quality

Inputs and Source

  1. PRP
  2. Customer Requirements
  3. Engineering Requirements
  4. Benchmarking Data

Outputs and Destination

Design phase

Design Review Materials

Plans for next phase

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