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Development of a robotic fish using electrostatic film motors: the Seidengyo II robot

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We previously built a fish-like robot named Seidengyo I (based on the Japanese words for electrostatic (seiden) and fish (gyo)), which is a light and flexible robot actuated by a novel electrostatic film motor. This paper describes the design features that underlie the operation of Seidengyo II, which is an evolutional prototype of Seidengyo I. These features include an elaborate three-layer electrostatic film motor, a unique power transmission system and a compact robot controller. The power transmission system permits reciprocating power from the three-layer electrostatic actuator to be converted to periodic oscillations of a caudal fin. The robot controller is capable of easily generating high-frequency and high-voltage driving signals. As a result, we can control the oscillations of the caudal fin of Seidengyo II via synchronous operation to achieve open-loop swimming. We present the experimental results regarding the performance of the constructed controller and verify the validity of the design of the Seidengyo II robot by these experimental results.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Advanced Mechatronics Laboratory, Department of Precision Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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