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Topic: Pnuematic Pump Suggestion (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hi Everyone,
I've been thinking of taking on a small side research project for a while... and I was wondering if I could get some suggestions for a small pnuematic pump (probably something that could supply about 10psi).  I've been interested in the idea of 'soft' robotics for a while, and found George Whiteside's research at Harvard very compelling (http://gmwgroup.harvard.edu/techniques/index.php?topic=Soft%20Robotics).  I've got some information on the silicone casting process... but I'm a little new to pnuematics and don't really know where to start.  I know the Whiteside research group also uses liquid pumping, but I think for the moment I'd like to stick to air pressure to inflate the silicone.  Ideally, I'd like the pump to be able to be controlled via an arduino (to turn on/off) and potentially have a valve (solenoid) that could be opened/close via a microcontroller as well.  Does anyone on here have any suggestions or places to start looking?
Thanks again,


might check out an aquarium pump. Hydraulics has a slight advantage over pneumatics in that hydraulics are a lot less squishy. Hydraulics also doesn't want to expand more once the valve is closed. Pneumatics can be very bouncy or springy and it is more difficult to control size/position.


An aquarium pump would not provide sufficient PSI; you'd need to go to something like a car tire inflator.

If you need an inexpensive air tank you can build one from PVC pipe. Just keep the pressure low and don't go over 40 PSI.


An aquarium pump can't do 10psi.
A pump for car tyres could be 250psi and makes an awful lot of noise.

This is an example of a 12V air pump : http://www.neuhold-elektronik.at/catshop/product_info.php?products_id=3917
That one can't do 10psi, but some of those can.
Some more:

You could use a small 12V nylon valve. But that depends on how you will use it.

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