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Artificial muscle actuator assembly

A flexible actuator assembly (20) including a flexible bladder device (22) having an expandable sealed chamber (23) adapted to substantially directionally displace between a deflated condition and an inflated condition, displacing a proximal portion (25) of the bladder device (22) away from a distal portion (26) thereof. An elongated tendon member (27) includes a distal portion (28) oriented outside the chamber (23), while an anchor portion (30) extends into the chamber (23) through a distal opening (31) in the bladder device (22). The tendon anchor portion (30) is further coupled proximate to the bladder proximal portion (25) in a manner adapted to: selectively invert displaceable portions (32) of the bladder device (22) when urged toward the deflated condition to position the anchor portion (30) and the bladder proximal portion (25) relatively closer to the bladder distal portion (26); and selectively evert the inverted displaceable portions (32) of the bladder device (22) when displaced toward the inflated condition which positions the anchor portion (30) and the bladder proximal portion (25) relatively farther away from the bladder distal portion (26) for selective movement of the tendon distal portion (28) between an extended condition and a retracted condition, respectively.
Owner:ERICKSON JOEL R

Artificial muscle actuator assembly

A flexible actuator assembly (20) including a flexible bladder device (22) having an expandable sealed chamber (23) adapted to substantially directionally displace between a deflated condition and an inflated condition, displacing a proximal portion (25) of the bladder device (22) away from a distal portion (26) thereof. An elongated tendon member (27) includes a distal portion (28) oriented outside the chamber (23), while an anchor portion (30) extends into the chamber (23) through a distal opening (31) in the bladder device (22). The tendon anchor portion (30) is further coupled proximate to the bladder proximal portion (25) in a manner adapted to: selectively invert displaceable portions (32) of the bladder device (22) when urged toward the deflated condition to position the anchor portion (30) and the bladder proximal portion (25) relatively closer to the bladder distal portion (26); and selectively evert the inverted displaceable portions (32) of the bladder device (22) when displaced toward the inflated condition which positions the anchor portion (30) and the bladder proximal portion (25) relatively farther away from the bladder distal portion (26) for selective movement of the tendon distal portion (28) between an extended condition and a retracted condition, respectively.
Owner:ERICKSON JOEL R
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