SMA-Net: A Deformable Morphology Robot Using Shape Memory Alloy
Takashi Nagai, Hiroshi Yokoi and Yukinori Kakazu
Autonomous Systems Eng., Complex Systems Eng., Hokkaido University, Kita-ku Kita-13 Nishi-8, Sapporo, Japan
Deformation of morphology is one goal of advanced robotics design research. This study started from a project of the development of a morph-functional machine, where the developmental study of a deformable robot which can behave like an ameba, is one of the main topics. This paper proposes the prototype design of a deformable morphology robot based on the lattice structure of elastic elements, shape memory alloy springs. The proposed structure of SMA-Net has both passively deformable functionality and active deformability. The functions of deformability of SMA-Net give new concepts of robotics design. However, it becomes difficult to control overall behavior because of the large degrees of freedom of the structure, external force comes into passive deformation and it makes change of physical property of motion control, and the relation between elements of robot yield nonlinear dynamics. Therefore, as first step for control, we investigated the movement mechanism of the robot. The proposed control method is periodic ON/OFF control, system parameters of SMA-Net are explored to find the resonance phase of the whole structure. Experiments show basic deformations of SMA-Net and the motion of translation and rotation.
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