Development of a Hose-Free FMA Driven by a Built-In Gas/Liquid Chemical Reactor
Akira Wada*,†, Hidehiro Kametani**, Koichi Suzumori*, and Shuichi Wakimoto**
*Tokyo Institute of Technology
I1-60 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan
**Okayama University, Okayama, Japan
Although pneumatic rubber actuators have unique advantages, (e.g., compliance, lightness, and cheapness) they require an air compressor, valves, and air supply hoses, limiting their use in portable devices. In our previous paper, we proposed the basic working principle of a novel pneumatic source for rubber actuators. This was based on the reversible chemical reaction of water electrolysis/synthesis, using a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In the current study, we developed a small PEMFC reactor based on this principle and applied it to a flexible micro actuator (FMA), which is a typical pneumatic rubber actuator, thereby realizing a hose-free pneumatic actuator without a compressor. The results of the driving experiments show that the proposed actuator can be successfully controlled by electric current control.
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