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For applications such as pollution detection and video mapping in limited space, underwater microrobots are urgently demanded. To meet these purposes, we designed a novel microrobot with ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators. We carried out some experiments to evaluate its crawling speeds on the underwater floor. Then we proposed a new type of underwater microrobot using ten ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) actuators as legs or fingers, which could implement walking, rotating, floating, and grasping motions. We developed a prototype of this underwater microrobot and carried out some experiments to evaluate its walking and floating speeds. We then analysed the walking mechanism of the microrobot and calculated its theoretical walking speed.
Date of Conference: 3-7 July 2011