In the present paper, a newly developed ultrasonic clutch is proposed. The ultrasonic clutch can solve problems of conventional passive elements, such as time delay, instability, and large size, by using unique characteristics of ultrasonic motor, as fast response, silent motion, and non-magnetic feature. It can also be designed to be smaller than conventional elements due to its simple structure. The clutch locks or releases the rotor by use of ultrasonic levitation phenomenon. First, we have designed the structure of the ultrasonic clutch using an equation of ultrasonic levitation phenomenon, results from structural analysis and finite element (FE) analysis of piezoelectric material of the vibrator. Then we have manufactured the ultrasonic clutch and have conducted a driving experiment. Finally, we have demonstrated that the maximum levitation force is around 20 N and the static friction torque of the ultrasonic clutch is up to 0.14 Nm.
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