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DEVELOPMENT OF A SOFT ROBOTIC THIRD ARM

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For my thesis I worked in ASU’s Bio-Inspired Mechatronics lab on a project lead by PhD student Pham H. Nguyen (Berm) to develop an assistive soft robotic supernumerary limb. I contributed to the design and evaluation of two prototypes: the

For my thesis I worked in ASU’s Bio-Inspired Mechatronics lab on a project lead by PhD student Pham H. Nguyen (Berm) to develop an assistive soft robotic supernumerary limb. I contributed to the design and evaluation of two prototypes: the silicon based Soft Poly Limb (SPL) and one bladder-based fabric arm, the fabric Soft Poly Limb (fSPL). For both arms I was responsible for the design of 3D printed components (molds, end caps, etc.) as well as the evaluation of the completed prototypes by comparing the actual performance of the arms to the finite element predictions. I contributed to the writing of two published papers describing the design and evaluation of the two arms. After the completion of the fSPL I attempted to create a quasi-static model of the actuators driving the fSPL.

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2019-05

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Design and Fabrication of Pneumatic Actuators for a Soft Ankle Foot Orthosis

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This paper presents the design of a pneumatic actuator for a soft ankle-foot orthosis, called the Multi-material Actuator for Variable Stiffness (MAVS). This pneumatic actuator consists of an inflatable soft fabric actuator fixed between two layers of rigid retainer pieces.

This paper presents the design of a pneumatic actuator for a soft ankle-foot orthosis, called the Multi-material Actuator for Variable Stiffness (MAVS). This pneumatic actuator consists of an inflatable soft fabric actuator fixed between two layers of rigid retainer pieces. The MAVS is designed to be integrated with a soft robotic ankle-foot orthosis (SR-AFO) exosuit to aid in supporting the human ankle in the inversion/eversion directions. This design aims to assist individuals affected with chronic ankle instability (CAI) or other impairments to the ankle joint. The MAVS design is made from compliant fabric materials, layered and constrained by thin rigid retainers to prevent volume increase during actuation. The design was optimized to provide the greatest stiffness and least deflection for a beam positioned as a cantilever with a point load. The design of the MAVS took into account passive stiffness of the actuator when combining rigid and compliant materials so that stiffness is maximized when inflated and minimal when passive. An analytic model of the MAVS was created to evaluate the effects in stiffness observed by varying the ratio in length between the rigid pieces and the soft actuator. The results from the analytic model were compared to experimentally obtained results of the MAVS. The MAVS with the greatest stiffness was observed when the gap between the rigid retainers was smallest and the rigid retainer length was smallest. The MAVS design with the highest stiffness at 100 kPa was determined, which required 26.71 ± 0.06 N to deflect the actuator 20 mm, and a resulting stiffness of 1,335.5 N/m and 9.1% margin of error from the model predictions.

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2020-05

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Mechanics of Origami Inspired Structures

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This research project will test the structural properties of a 3D printed origami inspired structure and compare them with a standard honeycomb structure. The models have equal face areas, model heights, and overall volume but wall thicknesses will be different.

This research project will test the structural properties of a 3D printed origami inspired structure and compare them with a standard honeycomb structure. The models have equal face areas, model heights, and overall volume but wall thicknesses will be different. Stress-deformation curves were developed from static loading testing. The area under these curves was used to calculate the toughness of the structures. These curves were analyzed to see which structures take more load and which deform more before fracture. Furthermore, graphs of the Stress-Strain plots were produced. Using 3-D printed parts in tough resin printed with a Stereolithography (SLA) printer, the origami inspired structure withstood a larger load, produced a larger toughness and deformed more before failure than the equivalent honeycomb structure.

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2018-05

Adaptive Technologies using Soft Robotic Bladders

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The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in fields such as manufacturing, automation, and biomedical application, the robotic structures formed by rigid axels on mechanical actuators lack the delicate differential sensors and actuators associated with known biological systems. The rigid structures of traditional robotics also inhibit the use of simple mechanisms in congested and/or fragile environments. By observing a variety of biological systems, it is shown that nature models its structures over millions of years of evolution into a combination of soft structures and rigid skeletal interior supports. Through technological bio-inspired designs, researchers hope to mimic some of the complex behaviors of biological mechanisms using pneumatic actuators coupled with highly compliant materials that exhibit relatively large reversible elastic strain. This paper begins the brief history of soft robotics, the various classifications of pneumatic fluid systems, the associated difficulties that arise with the unpredictable nature of fluid reactions, the methods of pneumatic actuators in use today, the current industrial applications of soft robotics, and focuses in large on the construction of a universally adaptable soft robotic gripper and material application tool. The central objective of this experiment is to compatibly pair traditional rigid robotics with the emerging technologies of sort robotic actuators. This will be done by combining a traditional rigid robotic arm with a soft robotic manipulator bladder for the purposes of object manipulation and excavation of extreme environments.

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2016-05

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Buckling Phenomenon in Pre-Stretched PDMS Substrates

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The data and results presented in this paper are part of a continuing effort to innovate and pioneer the future of engineering. The purpose of the following is to demonstrate the mechanical buckling characteristics in stiff thin film and soft

The data and results presented in this paper are part of a continuing effort to innovate and pioneer the future of engineering. The purpose of the following is to demonstrate the mechanical buckling characteristics in stiff thin film and soft substrate systems, and the importance of controlling them. In today's engineering research, wrinkling in systems in beginning to be viewed as a means for engineering innovation rather than failure. This research is important to further progress the possible applications the technology proposes, such as flexible electronics and tunable adhesives. This work utilizes a cost efficient and relatively easy method for generating and analyzing buckled systems. Ultra violate oxidation at ambient temperatures is exploited to create a stiff thin surface on rubber like polydimethylsiloxane, and couple with strain induction wrinkles are generated. Wrinkle characteristics such as amplitude, wavelengths and wetting properties were investigated. In simple cases, trends were confirmed that increased oxidation relates to increased buckle wavelengths, and increase in strain corresponds to a decrease in wavelength. Hierarchical buckles were produced in one-dimensional systems treated with a multi-step method; these were the first to be generated in the ASU labs. Unique topographic changes were produced in two-dimensional systems treated with the same method. Honeycomb or dome like structures were noted to occur, important as they undergo a different energy-reliving configuration compared to traditional parallel buckles. The information provided characterizes many aspects of the buckle phenomena and will allow for further inquiry into specific functions utilizing the technology to continue advancements in engineering.

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2013-05

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Active and passive precision grip responses to unexpected perturbations

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The development of advanced, anthropomorphic artificial hands aims to provide upper extremity amputees with improved functionality for activities of daily living. However, many state-of-the-art hands have a large number of degrees of freedom that can be challenging to control in

The development of advanced, anthropomorphic artificial hands aims to provide upper extremity amputees with improved functionality for activities of daily living. However, many state-of-the-art hands have a large number of degrees of freedom that can be challenging to control in an intuitive manner. Automated grip responses could be built into artificial hands in order to enhance grasp stability and reduce the cognitive burden on the user. To this end, three studies were conducted to understand how human hands respond, passively and actively, to unexpected perturbations of a grasped object along and about different axes relative to the hand. The first study investigated the effect of magnitude, direction, and axis of rotation on precision grip responses to unexpected rotational perturbations of a grasped object. A robust "catch-up response" (a rapid, pulse-like increase in grip force rate previously reported only for translational perturbations) was observed whose strength scaled with the axis of rotation. Using two haptic robots, we then investigated the effects of grip surface friction, axis, and direction of perturbation on precision grip responses for unexpected translational and rotational perturbations for three different hand-centric axes. A robust catch-up response was observed for all axes and directions for both translational and rotational perturbations. Grip surface friction had no effect on the stereotypical catch-up response. Finally, we characterized the passive properties of the precision grip-object system via robot-imposed impulse perturbations. The hand-centric axis associated with the greatest translational stiffness was different than that for rotational stiffness. This work expands our understanding of the passive and active features of precision grip, a hallmark of human dexterous manipulation. Biological insights such as these could be used to enhance the functionality of artificial hands and the quality of life for upper extremity amputees.

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2013

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Mechanics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries

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As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the

As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the lithiation/delithiation of silicon electrode involves processes including large volume change (anisotropic for the initial lithiation of crystal silicon), plastic flow or softening of material dependent on composition, electrochemically driven phase transformation between solid states, anisotropic or isotropic migration of atomic sharp interface, and mass diffusion of lithium atoms. Motivated by the promising prospect of the application and underlying interesting physics, mechanics coupled with multi-physics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries is studied in this dissertation. For silicon electrodes with large size, diffusion controlled kinetics is assumed, and the coupled large deformation and mass transportation is studied. For crystal silicon with small size, interface controlled kinetics is assumed, and anisotropic interface reaction is studied, with a geometry design principle proposed. As a preliminary experimental validation, enhanced lithiation and fracture behavior of silicon pillars via atomic layer coatings and geometry design is studied, with results supporting the geometry design principle we proposed based on our simulations. Through the work documented here, a consistent description and understanding of the behavior of silicon electrode is given at continuum level and some insights for the future development of the silicon electrode are provided.

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2014

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The Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a New Design of Soft Robotic Module Using Knit FRTAs

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For the basis of this project, a particular interest is taken in soft robotic arms for the assistance of daily living tasks. A detailed overview and function of the soft robotic modules comprised within the soft robotic arm will be

For the basis of this project, a particular interest is taken in soft robotic arms for the assistance of daily living tasks. A detailed overview and function of the soft robotic modules comprised within the soft robotic arm will be the main focus. In this thesis, design and fabrication methods of fabric reinforced textile actuators (FRTAs) have their design expanded. Original design changes to the actuators that improve their performance are detailed in this report. This report also includes an explanation of how the FRTA’s are made, explaining step by step how to make each sub-assembly and explain its function. Comparisons between the presented module and the function of the soft poly limb from previous works are also expanded. Various forms of testing, such as force testing, range of motion testing, and stiffness testing are conducted on the soft robotic module to provide insights into its performance and characteristics. Lastly, present plans for various forms of future work and integration of the soft robotic module into a full soft robotic arm assembly are discussed.

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2020-05

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Role of impurities on deformation of HCP crystal: a multiscale approach

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Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by

Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by relatively small variations in their impurity/solute content (IC), e.g., O, Al, and V. This increase in strength is due to the fact that the solute either increases the critical stress required for the prismatic slip systems ({10-10}<1-210>) or activates another slip system ((0001)<11-20>, {10-11}<11-20>). In particular, solute additions such as O can effectively strengthen the alloy but with an attendant loss in ductility by changing the behavior from wavy (cross slip) to planar nature. In order to understand the underlying behavior of strengthening by solutes, it is important to understand the atomic scale mechanism. This dissertation aims to address this knowledge gap through a synergistic combination of density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics. Further, due to the long-range strain fields of the dislocations and the periodicity of the DFT simulation cells, it is difficult to apply ab initio simulations to study the dislocation core structure. To alleviate this issue we developed a multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach (QM/MM) to study the dislocation core. We use the developed QM/MM method to study the pipe diffusion along a prismatic edge dislocation core. Complementary to the atomistic simulations, the Semi-discrete Variational Peierls-Nabarro model (SVPN) was also used to analyze the dislocation core structure and mobility. The chemical interaction between the solute/impurity and the dislocation core is captured by the so-called generalized stacking fault energy (GSFE) surface which was determined from DFT-VASP calculations. By taking the chemical interaction into consideration the SVPN model can predict the dislocation core structure and mobility in the presence and absence of the solute/impurity and thus reveal the effect of impurity/solute on the softening/hardening behavior in alpha-Ti. Finally, to study the interaction of the dislocation core with other planar defects such as grain boundaries (GB), we develop an automated method to theoretically generate GBs in HCP type materials.

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2014

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Role of defects interactions with embrittlement species in iron: a multiscale perspective

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Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility.

The crack tip, which presents a preferential trap site for hydrogen segregation, was examined using atomistic methods and the continuum based Rice-Thompson criterion as sufficient concentration of hydrogen can alter the crack tip deformation mechanism. Results suggest that there is a plausible co-existence of the adsorption induced dislocation emission and hydrogen enhanced decohesion mechanisms. In the case of GB-hydrogen interaction, we observed that the segregation of hydrogen along the interface leads to a reduction in cohesive strength resulting in intergranular failure. A methodology was further developed to quantify the role of the GB structure on this behavior.

GBs play a fundamental role in determining the strengthening mechanisms acting as an impediment to the dislocation motion; however, the presence of an unsurmountable barrier for a dislocation can generate slip localization that could further lead to intergranular crack initiation. It was found that the presence of hydrogen increases the strain energy stored within the GB which could lead to a transition in failure mode. Finally, in the case of body centered cubic metals, understanding the complex screw dislocation motion is critical to the development of an accurate continuum description of the plastic behavior. Further, the presence of hydrogen has been shown to drastically alter the plastic deformation, but the precise role of hydrogen is still unclear. Thus, the role of hydrogen on the dislocation mobility was examined using density functional theory and atomistic simulations. Overall, this dissertation provides a novel atomic-scale understanding of the HE mechanism and development of multiscale tools for future endeavors.

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2015