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Research Papers

Miniaturized Terrestrial Walking Robot Using PVDF/PVP/PSSA Based Ionic Polymer–Metal Composite Actuator

[+] Author and Article Information
Kim Tien Nguyen

Mem. ASME
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Chonnam National University,
Gwangju 500-757, Korea
e-mail: nguyenkimtien90@gmail.com

Seong Young Ko

Mem. ASME
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Chonnam National University,
Gwangju 500-757, Korea
e-mail: sko@jnu.ac.kr

Jong-Oh Park

Mem. ASME
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Chonnam National University,
Gwangju 500-757, Korea
e-mail: jop@jnu.ac.kr

Sukho Park

Mem. ASME
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Chonnam National University,
Gwangju 500-757, Korea
e-mail: spark@jnu.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received August 12, 2015; final manuscript received December 21, 2015; published online March 7, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Robert J. Wood.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(4), 041006 (Mar 07, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1219; doi: 10.1115/1.4032407 History: Received August 12, 2015; Revised December 21, 2015

This paper presents a design and fabrication of millimeter scale walking robot using ionic polymer–metal composite (IPMC) actuator as the robot's leg for walking in terrestrial environment. A small scale of new IPMC actuator based on poly-vinylidene fluoride (PVDF)/polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP)/polystyrene sulfuric acid (PSSA) blend membrane was fabricated and employed in this study to sustain and drive the walking robot with sufficient force and displacement. The PVDF/PVP/PSSA based IPMC actuator with a polymer mixture ratio of 15/30/55 shows improved performances than Nafion based IPMC actuator. To enhance a traction force of the walking robot and to increase the life time of IPMC actuators, the IPMC strips are covered with a thin PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) layer. A miniaturized terrestrial walking robot (size: 18 × 11 × 12 mm, weight: 1.3 g) with a light weight robot's body which can support 2-, 4-, or 6-IPMC-leg models was designed and implemented the walking motion on the ground at the maximum speed of 0.58 mm/s.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup for IPMC bending test and blocking force test

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Fig. 2

(a) Displacement response, (b) blocking force response of IPMC actuator with different width and length, and (c) displacement and blocking force response of IPMC actuator with different thickness

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Fig. 3

(a) Displacement and blocking force response of IPMC actuator under 3 V, 0.05 Hz input signal and (b) response of IPMC under various input signals (5 V, 0.1–1 Hz)

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Fig. 4

Experimental setup for friction force test between walking robot and ground

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Fig. 5

(a) Displacement and blocking force response of regular and IPMC-PDMS actuator and (b) life-time cycle of regular IPMC actuator and IPMC-PDMS actuator

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Fig. 6

(a) Structure of IPMC leg connectors, (b) PCB-robot body; design of IPMC walking robot, (c) 2-IPMC-leg model, (d)4-IPMC-leg model, and (e) 6-IPMC-leg model

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Fig. 7

(a) Detailed schematic of the drive stage for IPMC actuators and (b) populated control circuit for walking robot

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Fig. 8

(a) Locomotion of walking robot; (b) sequence control signal for the walking robot

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Fig. 9

The speed trial results were obtained for 0.1–1 Hz actuation frequencies. The data points show the steady results, whereas the error area shows the maximum and minimum trial speed values.

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