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Actuators, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2013), Pages 74-144

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Self-Sensing Control of Nafion-Based Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC) Actuator in the Extremely Low Humidity Environment
Actuators 2013, 2(4), 74-85; doi:10.3390/act2040074
Received: 6 August 2013 / Revised: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 24 September 2013 / Published: 1 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents feedforward, feedback and two-degree-of-freedom control applied to an Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC) actuator. It presents a high potential for development of miniature robots and biomedical devices and artificial muscles. We have reported in the last few years that dehydration [...] Read more.
This paper presents feedforward, feedback and two-degree-of-freedom control applied to an Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC) actuator. It presents a high potential for development of miniature robots and biomedical devices and artificial muscles. We have reported in the last few years that dehydration treatment improves the electrical controllability of bending in Selemion CMV-based IPMCs. We tried to replicate this controllability in Nafion-based IPMC. We found that the displacement of a Nafion-based IPMC was proportional to the total charge imposed, just as in the Selemion-CMV case. This property is the basis of self-sensing controllers for Nafion-based IPMC bending behavior: we perform bending curvature experiments on Nafion-based IPMCs, obtaining the actuator's dynamics and transfer function. From these, we implemented self-sensing controllers using feedforward, feedback and two-degree-of-freedom techniques. All three controllers performed very well with the Nafion-based IPMC actuator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Centered Actuators)
Open AccessArticle Actuator Location and Voltages Optimization for Shape Control of Smart Beams Using Genetic Algorithms
Actuators 2013, 2(4), 111-128; doi:10.3390/act2040111
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 23 September 2013 / Accepted: 12 October 2013 / Published: 22 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a numerical study on optimal voltages and optimal placement of piezoelectric actuators for shape control of beam structures. A finite element model, based on Timoshenko beam theory, is developed to characterize the behavior of the structure and the actuators. [...] Read more.
This paper presents a numerical study on optimal voltages and optimal placement of piezoelectric actuators for shape control of beam structures. A finite element model, based on Timoshenko beam theory, is developed to characterize the behavior of the structure and the actuators. This model accounted for the electromechanical coupling in the entire beam structure, due to the fact that the piezoelectric layers are treated as constituent parts of the entire structural system. A hybrid scheme is presented based on great deluge and genetic algorithm. The hybrid algorithm is implemented to calculate the optimal locations and optimal values of voltages, applied to the piezoelectric actuators glued in the structure, which minimize the error between the achieved and the desired shape. Results from numerical simulations demonstrate the capabilities and efficiency of the developed optimization algorithm in both clamped−free and clamped−clamped beam problems are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Double-Acting Sleeve Muscle Actuator for Bio-Robotic Systems
Actuators 2013, 2(4), 129-144; doi:10.3390/act2040129
Received: 5 November 2013 / Revised: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new type of muscle-like actuator, namely double-acting (DA) sleeve muscle actuator, which is suitable for the actuation of biologically-inspired and biomedical robotic systems, especially those serving human-assistance purposes (prostheses, orthoses, etc.). Developed based on the traditional pneumatic [...] Read more.
This paper presents a new type of muscle-like actuator, namely double-acting (DA) sleeve muscle actuator, which is suitable for the actuation of biologically-inspired and biomedical robotic systems, especially those serving human-assistance purposes (prostheses, orthoses, etc.). Developed based on the traditional pneumatic muscle actuator, the new DA sleeve muscle incorporates a unique insert at the center. With the insert occupying the central portion of the internal volume, this new actuator enjoys multiple advantages relative to the traditional pneumatic muscle, including a consistent increase of force capacity over the entire range of motion, and a significant decrease of energy consumption in operation. Furthermore, the insert encompasses an additional chamber, which generates an extension force when pressurized. As such, this new actuator provides a unique bi-directional actuation capability, and, thus, has a potential to significantly simplify the design of a muscle actuator-powered robotic system. To demonstrate this new actuator concept, a prototype has been designed and fabricated, and experiments conducted on this prototype demonstrated the enhanced force capacity and the unique bi-directional actuation capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Centered Actuators)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Overview of Actuated Arm Support Systems and Their Applications
Actuators 2013, 2(4), 86-110; doi:10.3390/act2040086
Received: 8 August 2013 / Revised: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 2 October 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Arm support systems provide support throughout daily tasks, training or in an industrial environment. During the last decades a large diversity of actuated arm support systems have been developed. To analyze the actuation principles in these systems, an overview of actuated arm [...] Read more.
Arm support systems provide support throughout daily tasks, training or in an industrial environment. During the last decades a large diversity of actuated arm support systems have been developed. To analyze the actuation principles in these systems, an overview of actuated arm support systems is provided. This overview visualizes the current trends on research and development of these support systems and distinguishes three categories. These categories depend mainly on the functional status of the user environment, which defines the specifications. Therefore, the actuated arm support systems are classified according to their user environment, namely: ambulatory, rehabilitation and industrial. Furthermore, three main actuation principles and three mechanical construction principles have been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Centered Actuators)
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