Pneumatic systems provide more versatile actuation possibilities than standard electric motors and other electromagnetic actuators. Conventional pneumatic systems are large, complicated, and heavy. However, with new commercially available pneumatic technology and some creativity, it should be possible to make a pneumatic system small and light enough to be part of a fursuit.
Typical fursuit applications will use lower volumes of air at much lower pressures than industrial pneumatic systems. This means that we need pressure regulators that provide low-pressure air and valves that work at low pressures. Standard solenoid valves have a minimum working pressure that is probably too high for fursuit actuators. The other main challenge is the air supply. A standard portable pneumatic system would use large storage tanks that need to be recharged from an external compressor.
Small pressurized carbon dioxide cartridges may be a useful compressed gas source. Each cartridge contains 16-38 grams of liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide. At 25 degrees Celsius, they supply a pressure of about 6.4 megapascals (64 bar, 933 pounds per square inch). Pressure regulators that accept this high pressure are available, but they are relatively large and heavy. Depending on the actuators needed, one of these cartridges may last for a long time. This article provides more information about carbon dioxide cartridges.
The Festo VEMP series of piezoelectric valves are small, allow proportional control, work at low air pressures, and have low power consumption. These properties make them nearly ideal for fursuit use. Their main problem is that they need a control signal that ranges from 0 to 250 volts DC. Although DC-DC converters for this application are available and easy to use, adding high voltage electricity to a fursuit makes things more complicated and requires lots of safety engineering work.