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Title: Compliant polymeric actuators as robot drive units
Author: Caldwell, Darwin Gordon
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1989
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A co-polymer made from Polyvinyl Alcohol and Polyacrylic Acid (PVA-PAA) has been synthesized to form new robotic actuation systems which use the contractile and variable compliance properties of this material. The stimulation of these fibres is studied (particularly chemical activation using acetone and water), as are the factors which influence the response, especially those relating to its performance as an artificial muscle. Mathematical models and simulations of the dynamics of the polymeric strips have been developed, permitting a thorough analysis of the performance determining parameters. Using these models a control strategy has been designed and implemented, with experimental results being obtained for a gripper powered by a flexor/extensor pair formed using these polymeric actuators. An investigation of a second property of the polymer, its variable compliance is alsoincluded. Use of this feature has lead to the design, construction and testing of a multi degree-of-freedom dextrous hand, which despite having only a single actuator, can exercise independent control over each joint.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Actuators, Co-polymer, Polyvinyl alcohol, Polyacrylic acid