The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) recognized University of Maryland (UMD) Aerospace Engineering alumni Dr. Gang Wang (Ph.D. '01), Minta Martin Professor and Department Chair Norman Wereley and graduate student Thomas Pillsbury with the Ephrahim Garcia Best Paper Award.
From left to right: Wang, Wereley and Pillsbury
Their paper, "Nonlinear Quasi-Static Model of Pneumatic Artificial Muscle Actuators," published in the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, aimed at developing a physics-based, simple, non-linear hyperelastic quasi-static model to more accurately represent the actuation force versus contraction in pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs).
Wereley’s group is applying these artificial muscles to such varied applications as high performance actuation systems for trailing edge flaps in helicopters, soft compliant actuators for conventional robotic manipulators, and for soft robotic manipulators that mimic the dexterity of an octopus arm or elephant trunk.
According to the authors, their model can also be used as a PAM design tool "because PAM physical design variables (e.g. original length, bladder dimensions, and material properties), as well as actuation conditions, are used as input parameters in the model."
Pillsbury, a Ph.D. student and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, works in UMD's Smart Structures Lab focusing on soft robotic appendages that employ lightweight, soft pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) for actuation. He is currently developing an underwater starfish robot using these soft robotic appendages.
Wang is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The ASME Ephrahim Garcia Best Paper Award goes to a top paper published in the field of smart material inspired actuators and morphing structures. ASME established the award in memory of Professor Ephrahim Garcia's extraordinary contributions in scholarship, education and service to the field of smart materials and adaptive structures. The official certificate and award will be presented during ASME's 2016 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems (SMASIS) conference.
G. Wang, N.M. Wereley, and T.E. Pillsbury (2015). “Nonlinear Quasi-Static Model of Pneumatic Artificial Muscle Actuators.” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures. 26(5):541-553.
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