Hardware

Shadow Pneumatic Control Unit

Posted 7 Nov 2007 at 19:29 UTC by steve Share This

Shadow Robot Company has announced a new product to simplify the control of air muscles from a computer or microcontroller. To quote their November 2007 newsletter (PDF format), 'One question we get asked a lot is "How do I drive Air Muscles from my computer?". We used to embark on a long explanation of how to use pneumatic valves, which caused everyone else to give a resigned shake of their heads. Now, however, we have a better answer - the Shadow Pneumatic Control Unit. The SPCU is a neat box that lets you control 4 muscles (or other pneumatic things) and read 8 sensors. We embed into it the same control system we use for the Dextrous Hand. It's got all the valves and electronics packed into one box - all you need to do is supply power and compressed air, and connect it to your computer via CANbus or a serial port.' For more details, see the SPCU technical specifications. If you've been thinking about using air muscles in a robot design, this might be just the piece of hardware you've been looking for.

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