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DEVELOPMENT OF A SOFT ROBOTIC THIRD ARM

Description

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

Adaptive Technologies using Soft Robotic Bladders

Description

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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Compressible flow through a porous medium: choking at pore scale and its implications

Description

Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located

Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located near the wellbore, generates an effective tensile stress on the porous rock frame. This tensile stress almost always exceeds the tensile strength of the rock and it causes a tensile failure of the rock, leading to wellbore instability. In a porous rock, not all pores are choked at the same flow rate, and when just one pore is choked, the flow through the entire porous medium should be considered choked as the gas pressure gradient at the point of choking becomes singular. This thesis investigates the choking condition for compressible gas flow in a single microscopic pore. Quasi-one-dimensional analysis and axisymmetric numerical simulations of compressible gas flow in a pore scale varicose tube with a number of bumps are carried out, and the local Mach number and pressure along the tube are computed for the flow near choking condition. The effects of tube length, inlet-to-outlet pressure ratio, the number of bumps and the amplitude of the bumps on the choking condition are obtained. These critical values provide guidance for avoiding the choking condition in practice.

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Date Created
2013

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Active and passive precision grip responses to unexpected perturbations

Description

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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Date Created
2013

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

Description

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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A study of latent heat of vaporization in aqueous nanofluids

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Nanoparticle suspensions, popularly termed “nanofluids,” have been extensively investigated for their thermal and radiative properties. Such work has generated great controversy, although it is arguably accepted today that the presence of nanoparticles rarely leads to useful enhancements in either thermal

Nanoparticle suspensions, popularly termed “nanofluids,” have been extensively investigated for their thermal and radiative properties. Such work has generated great controversy, although it is arguably accepted today that the presence of nanoparticles rarely leads to useful enhancements in either thermal conductivity or convective heat transfer. On the other hand, there are still examples of unanticipated enhancements to some properties, such as the reported specific heat of molten salt-based nanofluids and the critical heat flux. Another largely overlooked example is the apparent effect of nanoparticles on the effective latent heat of vaporization (hfg) of aqueous nanofluids. A previous study focused on molecular dynamics (MD) modeling supplemented with limited experimental data to suggest that hfg increases with increasing nanoparticle concentration.

Here, this research extends that exploratory work in an effort to determine if hfg of aqueous nanofluids can be manipulated, i.e., increased or decreased, by the addition of graphite or silver nanoparticles. Our results to date indicate that hfg can be substantially impacted, by up to ± 30% depending on the type of nanoparticle. Moreover, this dissertation reports further experiments with changing surface area based on volume fraction (0.005% to 2%) and various nanoparticle sizes to investigate the mechanisms for hfg modification in aqueous graphite and silver nanofluids. This research also investigates thermophysical properties, i.e., density and surface tension in aqueous nanofluids to support the experimental results of hfg based on the Clausius - Clapeyron equation. This theoretical investigation agrees well with the experimental results. Furthermore, this research investigates the hfg change of aqueous nanofluids with nanoscale studies in terms of melting of silver nanoparticles and hydrophobic interactions of graphite nanofluid. As a result, the entropy change due to those mechanisms could be a main cause of the changes of hfg in silver and graphite nanofluids.

Finally, applying the latent heat results of graphite and silver nanofluids to an actual solar thermal system to identify enhanced performance with a Rankine cycle is suggested to show that the tunable latent heat of vaporization in nanofluilds could be beneficial for real-world solar thermal applications with improved efficiency.

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Date Created
2015

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Challenging the versatility of the Tesla turbine: working fluid variations and turbine performance

Description

Tesla turbo-machinery offers a robust, easily manufactured, extremely versatile prime mover with inherent capabilities making it perhaps the best, if not the only, solution for certain niche applications. The goal of this thesis is not to optimize the performance of

Tesla turbo-machinery offers a robust, easily manufactured, extremely versatile prime mover with inherent capabilities making it perhaps the best, if not the only, solution for certain niche applications. The goal of this thesis is not to optimize the performance of the Tesla turbine, but to compare its performance with various working fluids. Theoretical and experimental analyses of a turbine-generator assembly utilizing compressed air, saturated steam and water as the working fluids were performed and are presented in this work. A brief background and explanation of the technology is provided along with potential applications. A theoretical thermodynamic analysis is outlined, resulting in turbine and rotor efficiencies, power outputs and Reynolds numbers calculated for the turbine for various combinations of working fluids and inlet nozzles. The results indicate the turbine is capable of achieving a turbine efficiency of 31.17 ± 3.61% and an estimated rotor efficiency 95 ± 9.32%. These efficiencies are promising considering the numerous losses still present in the current design. Calculation of the Reynolds number provided some capability to determine the flow behavior and how that behavior impacts the performance and efficiency of the Tesla turbine. It was determined that turbulence in the flow is essential to achieving high power outputs and high efficiency. Although the efficiency, after peaking, begins to slightly taper off as the flow becomes increasingly turbulent, the power output maintains a steady linear increase.

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Date Created
2012

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Construction of a thermal conductivity measurement platform for bulk and thin film materials based on the 3-Omega technique

Description

Nanostructured materials show signicant enhancement in the thermoelectric g-

ure of merit (zT) due to quantum connement eects. Improving the eciency of

thermoelectric devices allows for the development of better, more economical waste

heat recovery systems. Such systems may be used as bottoming

Nanostructured materials show signicant enhancement in the thermoelectric g-

ure of merit (zT) due to quantum connement eects. Improving the eciency of

thermoelectric devices allows for the development of better, more economical waste

heat recovery systems. Such systems may be used as bottoming or co-generation

cycles in conjunction with conventional power cycles to recover some of the wasted

heat. Thermal conductivity measurement systems are an important part of the char-

acterization processes of thermoelectric materials. These systems must possess the

capability of accurately measuring the thermal conductivity of both bulk and thin-lm

samples at dierent ambient temperatures.

This paper discusses the construction, validation, and improvement of a thermal

conductivity measurement platform based on the 3-Omega technique. Room temperature

measurements of thermal conductivity done on control samples with known properties

such as undoped bulk silicon (Si), bulk gallium arsenide (GaAs), and silicon dioxide

(SiO2) thin lms yielded 150 W=m􀀀K, 50 W=m􀀀K, and 1:46 W=m􀀀K respectively.

These quantities were all within 8% of literature values. In addition, the thermal

conductivity of bulk SiO2 was measured as a function of temperature in a Helium-

4 cryostat from 75K to 250K. The results showed good agreement with literature

values that all fell within the error range of each measurement. The uncertainty in

the measurements ranged from 19% at 75K to 30% at 250K. Finally, the system

was used to measure the room temperature thermal conductivity of a nanocomposite

composed of cadmium selenide, CdSe, nanocrystals in an indium selenide, In2Se3,

matrix as a function of the concentration of In2Se3. The observed trend was in

qualitative agreement with the expected behavior.

i

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Date Created
2014

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Optical simulation and optimization of light extraction efficiency for organic light emitting diodes

Description

Current organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) suffer from the low light extraction efficiency. In this thesis, novel OLED structures including photonic crystal, Fabry-Perot resonance cavity and hyperbolic metamaterials were numerically simulated and theoretically investigated. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method was employed

Current organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) suffer from the low light extraction efficiency. In this thesis, novel OLED structures including photonic crystal, Fabry-Perot resonance cavity and hyperbolic metamaterials were numerically simulated and theoretically investigated. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method was employed to numerically simulate the light extraction efficiency of various 3D OLED structures. With photonic crystal structures, a maximum of 30% extraction efficiency is achieved. A higher external quantum efficiency of 35% is derived after applying Fabry-Perot resonance cavity into OLEDs. Furthermore, different factors such as material properties, layer thicknesses and dipole polarizations and locations have been studied. Moreover, an upper limit for the light extraction efficiency of 80% is reached theoretically with perfect reflector and single dipole polarization and location. To elucidate the physical mechanism, transfer matrix method is introduced to calculate the spectral-hemispherical reflectance of the multilayer OLED structures. In addition, an attempt of using hyperbolic metamaterial in OLED has been made and resulted in 27% external quantum efficiency, due to the similar mechanism of wave interference as Fabry-Perot structure. The simulation and optimization methods and findings would facilitate the design of next generation, high-efficiency OLED devices.

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Agent

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Date Created
2016