Abstract: For manipulation tasks in uncertain environments, intentionally designed series impedance in mechanical systems can provide significant benefits that cannot be achieved in software. Traditionally, the design of actuated systems revolves around sizing torques, speeds, and control strategies without considering the system’s passive dynamics. However, the passive dynamics of the mechanical system, including inertia, stiffness, and damping along with other parameters such as torque and stroke limits often impose performance limitations that cannot be overcome with software control. In this paper, we develop relationships between an actuator’s passive dynamics and the resulting performance for the purpose of better understanding how to tune the passive dynamics for catching an unexpected object. We use a mathematically optimal controller subject to force limitations to stop the incoming object without breaking contact and bouncing. The use of an optimal controller is important so that our results directly reflect the physical system’s performance. We analytically calculate the maximum velocity that can be caught by a realistic actuator with limitations such as force and stroke limits. The results show that in order to maximize the velocity of an object that can be caught without exceeding the actuator’s torque and stroke limits, a soft spring along with a strong damper will be desired.
Abstract: This paper focuses on the analysis, the modeling and the control of a linear-switched reluctance motor. The application under consideration is medical, and the actuator is to be used as a left ventricular assist device. The actuator has a cylindrical or tubular shape, with a mechanical unidirectional valve placed inside the mover, which provides a pulsatile flow of blood. The analytical expression of the effort based on the linear behavior of the actuator is given. The identification of the characteristics of the prototype actuator and the principle of position control is performed. A modeling of the actuator is proposed, taking into account the variation of inductance with respect to the position. The closed-loop position control of the actuator is performed by simulation. A controller with integral action and anticipatory action is implemented in order to compensate the effects of disturbing efforts and tracking deviations. Moreover, a magic switch is performed in the controller to avoid overshoots. The results show that the closed-loop response of the actuator is satisfactory.
Abstract: This study proposes an optically driven complex micromachine with an Archimedes microscrew as the mechanical power, a sphere as a coupler, and three knives as the mechanical tools. The micromachine is fabricated by two-photon polymerization and is portably driven by optical tweezers. Because the microscrew can be optically trapped and rotates spontaneously, it provides driving power for the complex micro-tools. In other words, when a laser beam focuses on the micromachine, the microscrew is trapped toward the focus point and simultaneously rotates. A demonstration showed that the integrated micromachines are grasped by the optical tweezers and rotated by the Archimedes screw. The rotation efficiencies of the microrotors with and without knives are 1.9 rpm/mW and 13.5 rpm/mW, respectively. The micromachine can also be portably dragged along planed routes. Such Archimedes screw-based optically driven complex mechanical micro-tools enable rotation similar to moving machines or mixers, which could contribute to applications for a biological microfluidic chip or a lab-on-a-chip.
Abstract: Due to their fast response, high accuracy and non-friction force, piezo-actuators have been widely employed in multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) stages for various nano-positioning applications. The use of flexible hinges in these piezo-actuator-driven stages allows the elimination of the influence of friction and backlash clearance, as observed in other configurations; meanwhile it also causes more complicated stage performance in terms of dynamics and the cross-coupling effect between different axes. Based on the system identification technique, this paper presents the development of a model for the 3-DOF piezo-actuator-driven stages with unknown configuration, with its parameters estimated from the Hankel matrix by means of the maximum a posteriori (MAP) online estimation. Experiments were carried out on a commercially-available piezo-actuator-driven stage to verify the effectiveness of the developed model, as compared to other methods. The results show that the developed model is able to predict the stage performance with improved accuracy, while the model parameters can be well updated online by using the MAP estimation. These capabilities allow investigation of the complicated stage performance and also provide a starting point from which the mode-based control scheme can be established for improved performance.
Abstract: Bent and folded beam configurations have been popularly used in electrothermoelastic (E-T) actuation. This paper introduces new designs of thermal end-effector with micro-grasping and micro-heating capabilities. We obtained analytical models for all possible steady state temperature responses of suspended and overhanging microstructures that constitute bent beam, folded beam, and combined actuators. Generally, the thermal response of E-T microstructures is sensitive to the boundary conditions, particularly for high power input. Thermal models have predicted the failure due to melting, which is the most common reason for failure of E-T devices, and it often occurs in the longest and the thinnest microstructure.
Abstract: We present the circuit and performance of a square wave driver and power supply for piezoceramic actuators characterized by large capacitance, up to 3 μF. Capacitance of piezoceramic element is the key factor that limits the use of powerful actuators operating at high frequencies (kHz). It is thus important to build a driver that allows use of a possible wide set of actuators in the widest range of frequencies appropriate for the piezoelement. The driver that we report uses the properties of non-inductive resistors that allow for operation at high frequencies. Our report details the design, construction, tests and limitations of the device and its application to the control of a microfluidic valve.