Chopsticks are a popular tool used every day by 1.5 billion people to pick up pieces of food of different sizes and shapes. Given that the use of chopsticks requires sophisticated muscle control, they are difficult to use for unskilled people. In this study, a chopstick robot that uses a new soft actuator was developed. Firstly, we developed an X-shaped soft actuator and tested its performance. When a voltage was applied to the actuator, the gap in the X shape was reduced by the resulting electrostatic force. Conversely, when the power was turned off, the actuator recovered its original shape owing to the elasticity of its material. We attached the X-shaped soft actuator between the chopsticks. The chopstick robot, controlled by the input voltage, can pick up various objects in the switched-on state and is able to release them when switched off. We tested the performance of the chopstick robot and analyzed the forces acting on the chopsticks. The robot can be used for picking up various objects. Moreover, the X-shaped actuator can be adapted for use in various studies, through different shapes and configurations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited