Festos, a manufacturer of industrial control systems, is using its own in-house technology to develop a pneumatic powered arm.
The Airic’s_arm is a robotic arm fitted with artificial bones and muscles. The bone structure, consisting of the human bones such as ulna and radius, metacarpal bone and finger bone, shoulder joint and shoulder blade – joints that do not occur as such in the technical world – is moved via 30 muscles.
The muscles are Festo products, which are already put to extensive use in industrial practice and known as Fluidic Muscle. Using this technology, in conjunction with Festo’s tiny, highly innovative piezo-proportional valves, it is possible to precisely regulate the forces and rigidity within the construction. These actuators can be coordinated using state-of-the-art mechatronic systems and software.
The possibility of enhancing the Airic’s_arm sensors in the future, for instance by adding cameras or tactile perception elements, is just as feasible as the possibility of a further development in the form of back, hip and neck. Enhancements of this type will also be useful in robotics, as they could be used to assign even more hazardous tasks to technology.