Faculty Advisor

Onal, Cagdas Denizel


A known method for producing linear mechanical actuation from thermal stimulus involves the coiling of Nylon filaments into spring-like helical artificial muscle fibers. In this research the character of these muscle fibers was investigated using a test fixture designed to emulate the conditions in a real application. Characterization testing revealed an effect wherein muscles changed length unexpectedly under variable-loading conditions at high temperatures. This newly discovered effect, along with other properties of the muscle fibers, was then modeled in a parametric simulation environment, and parameter estimation utilities were used to match the model to the real-world response. The matched parameter model was used to simulate a computer controlled antagonistic servo-joint.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2016


Robotics Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering