About the event
Emily Allen, Scholarly Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Soft robotic devices show particular promise for medical applications where the ability to perform snake-like manipulations with soft devices could radically improve the safety and effectiveness of endoscopic and intravenous procedures. Where traditional catheter devices for these procedures can only be steered at the tip, there exists a need for more maneuverable devices with a high number of degrees of freedom (DOF) that can be controlled throughout the entire length.
In this presentation, the design and modeling of a hybrid pneumatic/shape-memory alloy (PneuSMA) actuation strategy is presented for a flexible catheter device. The PneuSMA actuator is capable of multi-directional bending without requiring separate tendons or pneumatic chambers for each series segment. A resistance-based mechanical model for the SMA springs is also presented for inclusion in the model, with potential for more broad application to other SMA-actuated devices.
Emily Allen earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University in the field of soft robotics for steerable medical devices. During her Masters studies at WSU, she investigated variable stiffness structures for soft robotics applications. Emily has an enthusiasm for teaching and since graduating has taken on a teaching faculty position in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at WSU.