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Monolithic design of flexible actuators for operation in confined liquid environments

By Sina Sareh

Abstract

This thesis presents novel contributions to the design, modelling and physical implementation of soft biomimetic actuators for operation in liquid environments. Single DOF and multi DOF monolithic actuators are designed by exploiting kirigami and electrical multi-segmentation techniques. Single degree of freedom actuators, Burstbot and Vonibot, are designed capable of generating complex biologically-inspired actuation profiles resembling the flexion of the mammalian cuspid valve and the coiled contractions of the Vorticella respectively_ The symmetric and asymmetric fluid interact ions of the Burstbot are investigated and the effectiveness in fluid transport applications is demonstrated. The Vortibot actuator is geometrically optimized as a camera positioner capable of 360 degree scanning. An artificial cilium actuator is developed based on quantitatively mimicking the structural design and stroke planar kinematics of the natural cilium. This actuator is modelled on the cilia movement of the alga Volvox, and represents the cilium as a piecewise constant-curvature robotic actuator that enables the subsequent direct translation of natural articulation into a multi-segment ionic polymer metal composite actuator. It is demonstrated how the combination of optimal segmentation pattern and biologically derived per-segment driving signals reproduce natural ciliary motion. The amenability of the artificial cilia to scaling is also demonstrated through the comparison of the Reynolds number achieved with that of natural cilia.EThOS - Electronic Theses Online ServiceGBUnited Kingdo

Topics: 130 - Mechanical, industrial, civil and marine engineering, general
Year: 2012
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Provided by: OpenGrey Repository
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