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In this paper, we present a micro robot using IPMC (Ionic Polymer Metal Composite) actuators. The IPMC actuator usually has been fabricated with commercially available ion-exchange polymer with the typical thickness of 100-300 μm. By the casting of liquid ion-exchange polymer solution, the thickness of the IPMC actuator could increase up to a few millimeters. Based on the casting method, we could achieve the IPMC actuator that has larger stiffness and produces more generative tip force than the IPMC actuator fabricated with the commercially available solid ion-exchange polymer. A ciliary type 8-legged micro robot using the casting based IPMC actuators is constructed. The ciliary type 8-legged micro robot is 6.5 cm in length and 4.2 cm in width, and 1.5 cm in height and the total weight is 4.4 g with the actuators installed. The IPMC actuators used in this robot have a dimension of 20 mm in length, 4 mm in width and 1.15 mm in thickness. The input voltage to the IPMC actuator is set to ±4 V and the frequencies to the IPMC actuator is varying from 0.2 Hz to 1.0 Hz; with the increment of 0.2 Hz. The walking speed of the micro robot is changed from 3 mm/min to 17 mm/min with the variation of the frequencies.
Date of Conference: 2002