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8 March 2014 Force control of ionic polymer-metal composite actuators with cellular actuator method
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Ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) is one of the electro-active polymer materials which respond to electric stimuli with shape change. IPMC actuators can be activated with simple driving circuit and common control approach; however, dynamic characteristics change from environmental conditions such as the temperature or humidity. The output force of IPMC is very small, and the stress relaxation exists depending on the type of the counter-ions in the electrolyte. Therefore, it is desirable to construct robust controllers and connection of multiple actuator units to obtain stable and large output force. In this study, we apply a control method for cellular actuators to solve above problems. The cellular actuator is a concept of the actuators which consist of multiple actuator units. The actuator units connect in parallel or series, and each unit is controlled by distributed controllers, which are switched ON/OFF state stochastically depending on the broadcast error signal which is generated in the central controller. In this paper, we verify the control performance of the cellular actuator method through numerical simulations. In the simulations, we assume that the one hundred units of IPMC connected in parallel, the output force is controlled to the desired value. The control performance is investigated in the case of some mixed ratio of units whose counter-ions are Sodium (Na) ion or Tetraethylammonium (TEA). As a result of simulation, it was confirmed that the tracking performance is improved by combining the fast response actuator units of Na ions and the large output actuator units of TEA ions.
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Yushiro Inoue and Norihiro Kamamichi "Force control of ionic polymer-metal composite actuators with cellular actuator method", Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 905636 (8 March 2014);

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