A Valve-Integrated Microactuator Using Homogeneous ER Fluid
Kazuhiro Yoshida*, Hiroshi Yano**, Jung-Ho Park*, and Shinichi Yokota*
*Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, 226-8503 Japan
**Graduate School, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, 226-8503 Japan
For micromachines using fluid power with high power density, a valve-integrated microactuator using homogeneous ER (electro-rheological) fluid is proposed and developed. For higher performance of the micro ER valve that controls the flow of homogeneous ER fluid using the viscosity change due to the applied electric field, the characteristics of the micro ER valve with different ER fluids are experimentally investigated. Also, a polyimide-diaphragm fluid microactuator is proposed, fabricated, and tested. Then the valve-integrated microactuator is fabricated using above devices and the characteristics are experimentally examined. A micro gripper driven by the microactuator is demonstrated.
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