Development of Flexible Deformation Mobile Robot Composed of Multiple Units and Pneumatic Self-Excited Valve
Takuya Hada*, Kenta Iguchi**, and Takeshi Aoki*
*Chiba Institute of Technology
2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016, Japan
4-6-10 Nihombashi-honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0023, Japan
In this study, we developed new bending modules and pneumatic self-excited valves. In a previous study, we developed a planar flexible-deformation mobile robot that combines multiple bending modules. The robot moves by a traveling wave, which is periodically generated by pressurizing air to the bending modules. Further, it can move in every direction by simultaneously combining the two directional traveling waves. However, problems such as air leakage from the bending module that constitutes the moving object and the influence of the moving operation owing to the tubes comprising the flow path were identified. To address these problems, new bending modules have been developed. To address air leak issues, we verified the materials used in the bending modules and developed an injection mechanism. To reduce the number of externally connected tubes, we developed new bending modules that could include multiple internal flow paths. In addition, because the mobile robot moves owing to the generation of traveling waves, it is a low-grade operation. However, this requires multiple solenoid valves and electronic circuits. This is useful if traveling waves can be generated by simply supplying air using a pneumatic self-excited valve. In this study, we developed bending modules with multiple internal channels and a pneumatic self-excited valve that utilizes the snap buckling of leaf springs used in the mobile robot.
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