I'm trying to create lungs for a project I'm working on that can inflate and deflate. I'm quite new to EE and using the Arduino, so I don't have much experience to know what would be the best way to mimick lungs.

I saw this video and wanted to do something almost identical to create the lungs. (Weird video, I know.) Around 1:34 he shows how he created it. I did some searching to figure out how he did it, and I found something called "pneumatic actuated muscles". I'm not really sure how this is done though, I just saw what it looks like once it's done.

I'll be using a Lilypad Arduino to control the lungs since I'll be sewing it onto a shirt. That said, it would be great if the hardware to inflate/deflate the lungs could be light so as not to stretch the shirt when one is wearing it.

Suggestions? It could be a really small amount of air, too. I don't mind as long as it can slightly mimic a pair of lungs.


closed as off topic by Leon Heller, Olin Lathrop, Dave Tweed, Brian Carlton, Kaz Nov 28 '12 at 0:39

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  • \$\begingroup\$ [blood and gore warning] Are you going to call the resulting garment the "Blood eagle" ? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Nov 24 '12 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Haha no no! It's meant to be an educational shirt. :) Quite the opposite. \$\endgroup\$ – Jessica Stanley Nov 24 '12 at 1:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The answer to your question really depends on what source of air pressure you would use: compressor, compressed gas bottle, bellows, etc. This challenge is more mechanical than electrical. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Nov 24 '12 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, I suppose you're right. I was hoping there would be some kind of device already related to the Arduino that would easily be able to be used with it. I wouldn't even know how to use an air compressor with the Lilypad (or an Uno) even if that was the solution. Maybe I'll cross-post with an ME forum if I can find one. \$\endgroup\$ – Jessica Stanley Nov 24 '12 at 1:28

You could just use a couple of servos and have them inside a bellows like structure.

The servo movement would expand and contract the bellows.

It would look like the bellows/lungs are inflating/deflating. No need for complex air seals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ohhh interesting. I was thinking of using servos inside the lungs themselves, but I like this idea better! \$\endgroup\$ – Jessica Stanley Nov 24 '12 at 2:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ To produce enough pressure and air volume displacement may require the power of a diaphragm and large volume displacement of a piston driven by a linear motor. Unfortunately magnetic linear voice coils are heavy (sub-woofer) so a gear reduction motor driven bellow would be lighter operating in both directions. It would still require >100 watts for responsiveness and pressure. Otherwise, you have to mimic a diaphraph muscle motion on an air bag. \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Nov 24 '12 at 15:51

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