A robot hand using electro-conjugate fluid

Akihiro Yamaguchi, Kenjiro Takemura, Shinichi Yokota, Kazuya Edamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


An electro-conjugate fluid (ECF) is a kind of functional fluid, which produces a jet flow (ECF jet) when subjected to high DC voltage. It is known that a strong ECF jet is generated under non-uniform electric field, for example, a field with a pair of needle and ring electrodes. This study introduces the ECF jet to develop a novel flexible robot hand. First, we characterize the ECF jet generator which could be a micro fluid pressure source of the robot hand, and confirm the effect of the variation of electrode parameters and the number of electrode pairs on its performance. Next, we investigate the characteristics of the robot finger which mainly consists of the ECF jet generator, a flexible rubber finger and an ECF tank. The robot finger is integrated with the pressure source (ECF jet generator) and the tank, and is successfully driven. A pressure range and a rise time of the finger are approximately 0-60 kPa and 1.0-2.0 s, respectively. Finally we develop a five-fingered flexible robot hand and demonstrate that the robot hand can grasp some objects with various shapes without any complex controller. Maximum weight of the grasped objects is 12.7 g. The height, the width and the mass of the robot hand are approximately 60 mm, 40 mm and 15 g, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov


  • Electro-conjugate fluid
  • Flexible actuator
  • Functional fluid
  • Multi-fingered robot hand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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