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Proceedings Paper

Biomimetic soft robots with artificial muscles
Author(s): Yoshihiro Nakabo; Toshiharu Mukai; Kinji Asaka
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Paper Abstract

An artificial muscle is an ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) which is made out of a high polymer gel film whose surface is plated with gold. Our goal is to realize bio-inspired soft robots, for example, a snake-like swimming robot or multi-degree-of-freedom (DOF) micro-robot manipulator. To realize a snake-like or a multi-DOF bending motion, we cut electrodes on the surface of the actuator in order to control each segment individually. We have developed a variety of motions from this patterned actuator including a snake-like motion. We have also proposed kinematic modeling of the manipulator which simply describes various multi-DOF motions of the artificial muscle. This model is applied to visual feedback control of the manipulator system using a Jacobian control method. For the feedback control, we have developed a visual sensing system using a 1ms high-speed vision system which has a fast enough response to capture the fast actuator motion. We have also made the device swim freely forward and backward by finding the optimal voltage, phase and frequency. In this report, we show some results from simulations of the proposed manipulator control method and experimental results from visual sensing of the bending motion and snake-like swimming of the actuator.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2004
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5648, Smart Materials III, (16 February 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.581825
Show Author Affiliations
Yoshihiro Nakabo, RIKEN--The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Japan)
Toshiharu Mukai, RIKEN--The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (Japan)
Kinji Asaka, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5648:
Smart Materials III
Alan R. Wilson, Editor(s)

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