Actuators2015, 4(1), 39-59; doi:10.3390/act4010039 - published 17 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This work presents an approach for identifying the model of a composite piezoelectric (PZT) bimorph actuator dynamics, with the objective of creating a robust model that can be used under various operating conditions. This actuator exhibits nonlinear behavior that can be described using backlash and hysteresis. A linear dynamic model with a damping matrix that incorporates the Bouc–Wen hysteresis model and the backlash operators is developed. This work proposes identifying the actuator’s model parameters using the hybrid master-slave genetic algorithm neural network (HGANN). In this algorithm, the neural network exploits the ability of the genetic algorithm to search globally to optimize its structure, weights, biases and transfer functions to perform time series analysis efficiently. A total of nine datasets (cases) representing three different voltage amplitudes excited at three different frequencies are used to train and validate the model. Four cases are considered for training the NN architecture, connection weights, bias weights and learning rules. The remaining five cases are used to validate the model, which produced results that closely match the experimental ones. The analysis shows that damping parameters are inversely proportional to the excitation frequency. This indicates that the suggested hysteresis model is too general for the PZT model in this work. It also suggests that backlash appears only when dynamic forces become dominant.
Actuators2015, 4(1), 17-38; doi:10.3390/act4010017 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Ionic electromechanically active polymers (IEAP) are laminar composites that can be considered attractive candidates for soft actuators. Their outstanding properties such as low operating voltage, easy miniaturization, and noiseless operation are, however, marred by issues related to the repeatability in the production and operation of these materials. Implementing closed-loop control for IEAP actuators is a viable option for overcoming these issues. Since IEAP laminates also behave as mechanoelectrical sensors, it is advantageous to combine the actuating and sensing functionalities of a single device to create a so-called self-sensing actuator. This review article systematizes the state of the art in producing self-sensing ionic polymer actuators. The IEAPs discussed in this paper are conducting (or conjugated) polymers actuators (CPA), ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC), and carbonaceous polymer laminates.
Actuators2015, 4(1), 2-16; doi:10.3390/act4010002 - published 16 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The tension in the warp yarns is a critical variable in the weaving process. If the warp tension is too high or too low the weaving process will be interrupted. A parameter that directly affects the warp tension is the vertical warp stop motion position. The position of the warp stop motion must be set for every produced new article. The setting procedure is performed completely manual. In this paper we present a mechatronic modification of an air jet-weaving machine to adjust the vertical warp stop motion position with the help of actuators. The parameters for the automated movement are determined and an open loop control, which uses a PLC, is proposed.
Actuators2014, 3(4), 285-292; doi:10.3390/act3040285 - published 9 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A paper actuator was fabricated from poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) by a wet process without organic solvents. The paper actuator had a capacitor structure, with a cationic polymer as an insulating layer sandwiched between two PEDOT:PSS films as the electrodes. The thickness of the paper actuator was approximately 36 mm. We measured its displacement as a function of applied voltage and frequency; the maximum displacement was 2.2 mm at 1.5 V and 1 Hz.
Actuators2014, 3(3), 270-284; doi:10.3390/act3030270 - published 11 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The fundamental objective in developing variable stiffness actuators is to enable the actuator to deliberately tune its stiffness. This is done through controlling the energy flow extracted from internal power units, i.e.,themotors of a variable stiffness actuator (VSA). However, the stiffness may also be unintentionally affected by the external environment, over which, there is no control. This paper analysis the correlation between the external loads, applied to different variable stiffness actuators, and their resultant output stiffness. Different types of variable stiffness actuators have been studied considering springs with different types of nonlinearity. The results provide some insights into how to design the actuator mechanism and nonlinearity of the springs in order to increase the decoupling between the load and stiffness in these actuators. This would significantly widen the application range of a variable stiffness actuator.