Modelling and Simulation of Pneumatic Sources for Soft Robotic Applications
The mathematical models for two widely used pneumatic systems in the soft robotics community are presented: syringe pumps and compressed air systems. These models enable prediction and optimisation of performance of soft actuators under pressurisation, allowing the user to select pneumatic components for a desired behaviour. Analytical models are confirmed with simulations developed using SimScape Fluids and SimScape Electrical within Simulink/MATLAB. By using a polytropic law, the models show agreement with the simulations with less than 10% discrepancy for the typical pressures used with soft actuators. Syringe pumps are shown to be much slower compared to the compressed air systems. In the latter, the addition of an air receiver allows very short actuation time.