I was recently reading that those artificial muscles had the highest power/weight ratio while electric motors only have a ratio of less than 100:1. As electrical engineer I have never worked with pneumatics before and do not have a big idea about air pumps. My question is, how much will this ratio change if we consider an autonomous system. On one side, the McKibben actuators + air pumps and valves + energy source and on the other side, electric motors + energy source. As an example, let suppose that somebody found a way to model and control the artificial muscles as good as the electric motors and make two autonomous walking leg models, which one would have a higher resulting power/weight ratio ?

  • $\begingroup$ Why would controlling the actuator autonomously vs manually have any affect on the power/weight ratio? $\endgroup$ May 22, 2014 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ by autonomous I mean integrated with own air pumps and not getting air pressure from an external bulky pump. $\endgroup$
    – Mehdi
    May 31, 2014 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ So, you are wanting to compare the power:weight ratio including all required components, including an onboard compressor and the valves necessary for automated control? That gets tricky, as the necessary components change in shape, size, and weight based on the system requirements. $\endgroup$ Oct 18, 2015 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes exactly, that is what I was thinking about, a self contained system powered by artificial muscle and an air compressor. But I think that having the compressor rolling on wheels attached to the robot is also a viable solution for planar floors. $\endgroup$
    – Mehdi
    Oct 19, 2015 at 9:24


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