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Please forgive my interjection, I'm a total noob as far as robotics is concerned, but have been a mech eng for the past 25 odd years! From the stats given for the valve in question, I would say that its the orifice size thats holding back the flow to the air to the muscle, not the response timing. The other issue I can see is the muscle itself, if its like the other pneumatic muscles I've seen, then the initial flow and pressure feeding it will simply be wasted on inflating it, rather than actually moving it. Like an innertube in a tyre, it requires a certain volume of air before it meets the required resistance to actually build pressure. I think that a small, rigid actuator may be the way to go, due to the fact of it not having to contain a specific volume of air, before it starts to move. Given enough orifice diameter, and a suitable bore and stroke of cylinder, and as little resistance to airflow as possible, even relatively low pressures should result in a fast, powerfull movement of the actuator.Hope this helps, or at least gives food for thought!
http://www.alphacontrols.co.uk/pdfs/alpha/solenoid%20valves/ACLSM31%20&%2041.pdf...any of the smaller valves on this page suitable??They have larger orifices, and higher flowrates, however they dont seem to operate at 5v, and not sure of the overall weights, as they're not listed.nb: they are available with 6v solenoids!edit: what size is the inlet orifice on the muscle?? Would it allow for using 2x of the solenoids you have, in parallel, doubling the flowrate and orifice size??
http://www.solenoidvalvesuk.com/catalogue/filecatalog/H%202010.pdfOk, 3 way, range of orifice sizes, still rated to reasonably good pressure even at 2mm+ orifice diameter, and nowhere near as heavy as brass/ alloy valve bodies....any of these take your fancy?...or just use 2x of the ones you have in parallel?!