Spiders show a unique adaptation; these eight-legged animals rapidly pump haemolymph liquid (=blood) into membrane covered pockets inside their legs. The increased volume extends the joint, and creates powerful leg movements. This fluidic joint extension happens together with muscle-tendon based joint flexion.
We are interested in the details of this hybrid, fluidic and muscle based joint actuation mechanism.
Fluidic actuators allow versatile, agile, and powerful motions and are commonly applied in robotics and automation. We conduct for example research on a novel spider-inspired joint mechanism employing both pneumatics and electrically-actuated tendons capable of strong, dynamic, and rapid joint movement.