Monday, May 30, 2011

Robotic Interface Based On Microscopic Hairs by Shunji Yamanaka Research Group

The Shunji Yamanaka Research Group at Keio University is doing R&D on an interface that copies the movement of cilium. Cilia are microscopic hairs on the surface of a cell which can react in unison, and are used by some microorganisms for movement. Although ordinarily soft and flexible, this device emphasizes the movement of cilium by making them hard and rigid.

This movement is created by using 4 biometal rods. Biometal is a thin fiber actuator that moves like muscle when electricity flows through it, and is characterized by lifelike flexible movement. In this device, after electrostatic capacitor sensors attached to the ends of the rods detect their position, the biometal rods are made to move based on calculations from a PC.

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