Concept and prototype of soft actuator for liquid nitrogen temperature environments

Daisuke Yamaguchi, Tatsuya Hanaki, Yuji Ishino, Masayuki Hara, Masaya Takasaki, Takeshi Mizuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A prototype of a soft actuator for extreme environments was fabricated, and driven in a cryogenic temperature environment. Previous soft actuators cannot be used for robots in extreme environments because resin, the main fabrication material, exhibits weak environmental characteristics. Therefore, this study proposes the application of polyimide (PI) films to soft ac-tuators. PI is characterized by excellent environmental resistance. However, the welding of PI is difficult because of its high resistance. In this study, a welding method was developed for PI films. This method does not require pretreatment, or the use of adhesives or additives to reduce resistance. Hence, an actuator that utilizes all the characteristics of PI was realized. The actuator was characterized in a cryogenic envi-ronment, which is one of the extreme environments, and was successfully driven at a liquid nitrogen temperature of 78 K. This proposed technology is not limited to cryogenic environments and is expected to pro-vide extreme environmental resistance to existing soft robots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1026
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotics and Mechatronics
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Extreme envi-ronment
  • Filmotics
  • Low temperature
  • Polyimide
  • Soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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