Control of Vertebrate Backbone System by Using Artificial Rubber Muscles (Control of Two-Degree-of-Freedom System by Using Three Artificial Rubber Muscles)
Takashi Kawamura*, Hisayoshi Kawahara** and Masaru Nakazawa*
*Shinshu University, 3-15-1, Tokida, Ueda, Nagano, 386 Japan
**Kawagoe Plant, Nitiyu Giken Kogyo Co., Ltd., 21-2, Matoba-Shinmachi, Kawagoe, Saitama pref., 350-11 Japan
This paper deals with the mechanism and control of a vertebral backbone system which operates on compressed air. This backbone system is composed of layered plates, balls, and artificial rubber muscles driven by pneumatics. The bending angle and direction of the backbone are fixed by displacement of wires that are connected to the artificial rubber muscles. In usual cases, a pair of artificial rubber muscles are used to operate a one-degree-of-freedom joint. This study proposes a mechanism and control method for a two-degreeof-freedom joint driven by three artificial rubber muscles. The structure of the backbone and its analysis in consideration of the characteristics of artificial rubber muscles are described. A control method and experimental results are also shown in this paper.