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Design and Implementation of an Ionic-Polymer-Metal-Composite Aquatic Biomimetic Robot

[+] Author Affiliations
Yi-chu Chang, Won-jong Kim

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Paper No. DSCC2011-6023, pp. 411-418; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control
  • ASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, Volume 2
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, October 31–November 2, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5476-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Smart materials have been used in various applications. In this paper, a walking robot with six two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) legs made of ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) is designed and implemented. Each leg can work as both a supporter and a driver, closely mimicking a real insect. To support and drive the robot, thicker (around 1 mm in thickness) IPMC strips were fabricated and used, and a 0.2-rad/s square wave is given as an input signal. The IPMC strips exhibit better performance in response to the square wave (8 mm) than sawtooth (4 mm) and sinusoidal (6 mm) waves in deflection. By applying this input signal in sequence, all the IPMC strips bend and walk in the form of six legs. In addition, thin magnet wires were used to supply power to each strip to prevent from confining the motion of our robot. Six lower legs are divided into two groups that work in the opposite directions to move the robot forward by turns. Upper legs are also divided into two groups to lift up their lower legs from making the robot to move back to the same place. The sizes of the IPMC strips and our robot (102 mm × 80 mm × 43 mm) were decided to exhibit better performance (0.5 mm/s) according to our tests.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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