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Sensing & Measurement

Norman Wereley: Bioinspired pneumatic artificial muscle actuator system design for aerospace and robotics applications

A plenary presentation from SPIE Smart Structures/NDE 2013

21 March 2013, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201303.93

 Norman Wereley Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAMs) were conceived by Gaylord in the 1950s, and have since been investigated for use in prosthetic and robotic devices, morphing and nastic structures, and aerospace applications. Only recently, however, have PAMs been seriously considered for aerospace applications. PAMs possess many attractive characteristics for implementation in these areas. They are simple, lightweight actuators that produce high levels of force and large, usable stroke at moderate actuation pressures (<620 kPa). The advantages of PAM actuators extend beyond their high performance levels. PAMs are naturally compliant and are highly tolerant to misalignment and impulsive loading. First, the advantages and disadvantages of PAMs relative to other smart material-based actuation technologies is discussed in terms of block force, free contraction, specific actuation force and work. This lecture also discusses applications of such PAMS to aerospace systems including space robotics for manipulator and end effectors, trailing edge flaps in helicopter rotor blades and miniaturized actuators for micro-air vehicles.

Norman Wereley‘s research interests are in dynamics and control of smart structures applied to helicopters, robotics, as well as aerospace and automotive systems. He also has a strong focus on active and passive vibration isolation, shock mitigation, and actuation systems. Dr. Wereley has published over 150 journal articles, 11 book chapters, and over 250 conference articles. Dr. Wereley is an inventor on thirteen patents and over a dozen patents pending. Dr. Wereley is Editor of the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures and associate editor of Smart Materials and Structures and AIAA Journal. He is Chair of the 2013 SPIE SS/NDE symposium. He is the recipient of the AIAA National Capital Section Engineer of the Year (2009), AIAA Sustained Service Award (2011), the AHS Harry T. Jensen Award (2011), and the ASME Adaptive Structures and Materials Systems Best Paper Award in Structural Dynamics and Control (2004, 2012). Dr. Wereley is the recipient of the ASME Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Prize (2012) and is a Fellow of AIAA, ASME, and the Institute of Physics.