Soft device group study the soft and safety device using a piezoelectric polymer and rubber. Rubber is soft, and manufacturing it is easy. Taking advantage of these properties, we are studying day and night in order to apply to the robot skin, measurement technology and medical field.
Animate beings in the earth have flexible and micro structures, and realize macro functions such as friction control, adhesion control and impact adsorption control. The final goal of this research is to develop of macro functional rubber sheets with micro structures.
In this research, micro rubber structural sheet realizing multi-legged passive walking, which achieves very low fiction.
Rubber plate on which a blazed grating is transcribed is fabricated by vacuum injection method. We have confirmed changing structural color by deforming a rubber sheet.
This research aims to realize a flexible gripping detection sensor that can be attached on flexible soft bellows actuators. The sensor material is piezoelectric polymer: poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF/TrFE)] that has the flexibility. The fabricated sensor is carried in the actuator as a displacement sensor and a grip sensor. When the actuator was curved by using a negative pressure, we have confirmed the detection of object gripping by the sensor.
In the future, in order to the force distribution check of the actuator at the time of gripping an object, the increase in a sensor loading part. Also, actuator control is due to be performed based on a sensor output for the improvement in safety.
For healthy chewing, normal occlusion without local overload is necessary. However, the current occlusal examination depends on techniques, skills and sense of dentists.
In this research, we are focusing on that occlusal condition is related to sounds from teeth, and have developed a novel occlusal checking device detecting the sounds. The device consists of a soft suction cup and a miniature microphone. By applying negative pressure to the suction cup the device can adhere on the surface of a target tooth and occlusal sounds from the tooth is detected by the microphone.
In the situ heart, the mechanical environment of cardiomyocyte affects its electrophysiology and mechanical functions. To study highly dynamic mechano-electrical interactions, it is desirable that observing the isolated cells in mechanical environments.
This research aims to develop a pneumatic cell gripper to hold and stretch the cell. This gripper has advantages which is the high output per volume ratio and without electric lines. So, it is suitable for miniaturization.
Mechanisms of friction and adhesion by microstructure has been developed. We have focused on micro suction cups. Micro suction cups are integrated to two functions: “adaptive adhesion to rough/curved surfaces” and “anisotropic adhesion”. By using this functions,this research aims to the development of the new functional robot skin.
At present, we have successfully fabricated the skins which are 500μm in the cup diameter at the minimum and are symmetric/ asymmetric.