Electro-conjugate fluid jet-driven micro artificial antagonistic muscle actuators and their integration

Shinichi Yokota, Fumiya Yajima, Kenjiro Takemura, Kazuya Edamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An electro-conjugate fluid (ECF) is a type of dielectric and functional fluid that generates a powerful jet flow when subjected to high DC voltage. Although a high voltage is needed to generate the jet flow, the current is quite low at several microamperes, resulting in a total power consumption of several milliwatts. Using this smart fluid, we can develop micro fluid-driven mechanical components without any bulky pumps. Also, it is clarified that the power density of the ECF jet is higher when the electrode pair is miniaturized; therefore, it is suitable for micro actuators. Here, we propose and fabricate three types of soft actuators with an antagonistic configuration: (i) micro artificial muscle cells, (ii) a McKibben-type micro artificial muscle actuator using the ECF effect and (iii) a micro finger actuator with two chambers to bend. The actuators basically consist of a silicone rubber tube covered with a fiber sleeve and a micro pressure source using the ECF effect. Next, we apply and integrate these actuators into a micro robot hand, driven with ECF jets. The driving characteristics of the micro artificial muscle actuator and the integrated micro ECF hand with ECF fingers were fabricated and experimentally investigated. The experimental results show that this ECF jet actuation is effective for driving soft micro hands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929-1943
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Robotics
Volume24
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Robot hand
  • antagonistic
  • electro-conjugate fluid jet
  • functional fluid
  • soft actuator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications

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