Robot Arm With Fluidic Muscles

Airic's_arm is a robotic arm inspired by your own arm. The company describes it as a "combination of mechatronics and the biological model of a human being."

(Festo Airic's arm - robotic biomimicry)

The mechanical foundation - the "skeleton" - of Festo's Airic's_arm is literally a metal version of the human skeletal structure. The radius and ulna (primary bones of the forearm), the metacarpals (hand and fingers) and the shoulder and shoulder blade are duplicated.

(Airic's_arm in action - video)

The musculature of the Festo Airic's_arm is comprised of Festo's "Fluidic Muscle," a pneumatic actuator of a type similar to those first demonstrated in the 1950's. Festo claims that their fluidic muscle design offers quicker repetition and high acceleration of mechanical parts, combined with a better power to weight ratio.

Festo's Airic's_arm is a pretty good fit for a specialized robotic arm from the 1958 Harry Harrison story Simulated Trainer:

He watched the panel slip back in the wall next to him and the hypo arm slide through, moving erratically like a snake as its metal fingers sought him out...
(Read more about Harry Harrison's hypo robotic arm)

Update 19-Oct-2011: Martin Caidin specifically uses this term in his 1972 novel Cyborg, which was the basis for the film Six Million Dollar Man; see the entry for artificial muscles. End update.

Try utilizing your own skeletal structure and "meat muscles:" click on one of these links to learn about other robotic arm research:

Read more about the Festo Fluidic Muscle and Airic's_arm. I tried this Google search for Festo robotic arm videos; let me know if you find a better one.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/6/2007)

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