In Flexible Mecha Gr, the soft actuator made of flexible material, such as silicone rubber, has been developed for medical treatment and welfare apparatus. We have developed the flexible power actuator which consists of some artificial muscles. Therefore this actuator realizes complex movement as the tentacle of the octopus or the nose of the elephant.
Recently, the large intestine diseases are increasing and the demands for endoscope inspection are rising. However it is difficult to insert to the large intestine because the large intestine has flexible and complicated structure, and it greatly depends on the skill of doctor.
In this research, as an actuator for large intestine endoscope insertion support, the tube-like actuator made of silicone rubber has been developed which drives by the air pressure. The insertion support is enabled by twisting the tube-like actuator around the existing endoscope spirally. In design and development, cross-sectional shape suitable for loading to the endoscope has been drawn by using a nonlinear finite element method analysis.
While wheels and crawlers are applied widely to transfer mechanisms of agricultural equipment, there are many unsuitable environments for traveling robots. The Mecanum wheel has been applied to omni-directional mechanism because it can work well even in narrow places. It has been thought that Mecanum wheel is unsuitable for traveling on uneven ground like corrugated surfaces. But there are very little evidences about potential of Mecanum wheels on actual fields. In this study a new mobile robot with Mecanum wheel has been designed, developed and tested experimentally focusing on its traveling performance in actual fields.
The mobile robot’s outside dimension is 930mm in width, 440mm in depth, and 280mm in height. The Mobile robot’s total mass is 80kg. The vehicle tests in actual fields. As a result of the driving experiment, it has succeeded in the stable run in actual fields.
During stomach X-ray radiography, the abdomen of a patient is pressured to take X-ray photographs of the stomach clearly. By pressing the abdomen, barium in the stomach is shifted and spread, so the clear image of the fold and lesion can be depicted. The present pressure methods are performed by installing the towel rounded between the consultation seat and the abdomen of the patient who took the prone position posture. However, this method cannot adjust the amount of pressure. Additionally keeping up the photography posture and abdominal pressure for long time is a big burden for a patient. Therefore, we aim for realization of the safety and efficient stomach X-ray radiography.
In this research, the abdomen-pressing soft mechanism (the pressure bag) has been developed. This pressure bag has two balloons which made of the laminated aluminum film for the inside, and it can adjust the amount of pressure to two steps by impressing air pressure to each. Since the canvas made from cotton which is a flexible material is used for the bodily contact part of the pressure bag, this pressure bag is safety for human body. Moreover it is possible to use under X-ray radiography because radiolucency of this pressure bag is high.
The volunteer examination using this pressure bag has done under X-ray radiography. As a result, the clear gastric mucous image equivalent to the conventional technique has been depicted.
In recent years, the studies of gripping mechanisms which have shape adaptability are popular. Above all, gripping mechanisms actuated by artificial muscles which are light and high output become popular.
In this study, to hold heavy loads and to bend to many directions, the funicular mechanism which combined six artificial muscles has been fabricated. This mechanism is combined of the radial arrangement of five extension muscles in surrounding of one contraction muscle, and it is possible to bend to many directions by impressing water pressure. The diameter and knitting angle of the used artificial muscles have been optimized by using a nonlinear finite element method analysis. Using the conventional not a metal terminal but rubber terminal, the flexibility of this mechanism has been bettered.
The fabricated funicular mechanism has coiled, griped and bent to the arbitrary direction on water surface.s