高分子 Vol.69 No.5
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特集 高分子科学とロボット工学
展望 COVER STORY: Highlight Reviews
Development Status of Flexible and Stretchable Devices for Robot Application
横田 知之
Tomoyuki YOKOTA
<要旨> 本稿では、ロボット実装に向けたフレキシブルエレクトロニクスとストレッチャブルエレクトロニクスの開発現状について述べる。とくに、薄膜基板上に作製されたウルトラフレキシブルデバイスに関して紹介することで、詳細を説明するとともに、ロボット実装へ向けた今後の課題や展望についても述べる。
Keywords: Flexible Electronics / Stretchable Electronics
Expectation for Polymer Science from Robotics Researcher
平井 慎一
Shinichi HIRAI
<要旨> 近年、ロボティクス分野において、ソフトロボティクスに関する研究が盛んになっている。ソフトロボティクスとは、柔らかい材料から構成されるロボットに関する研究であり、高分子科学との接点が求められる。本稿では、ソフトグリッパとソフトセンサに関する研究を紹介し、ロボット工学者から見た高分子科学への期待を述べる。
Keywords: Soft Robotics / Soft Gripper / Soft Sensor / Soft Materials
トピックス COVER STORY: Topics and Products
Robots and Polymers at the Front Line of Business
緒續 士郎
<要旨> Recently the attempt to adopt polymers as materials that make up robots, especially industrial robots, is accelerated because the robot development competition is intensifying all over the world. But, robots originally consist of metals according to logical and practical reasons, so it is difficult to use polymers. One should select necessary and sufficient tools from various technologies related to polymers and combine them carefully in order to realize polymer-made-robots. Polymers that are possible to be adopted are not always soft materials such as rubbers, gels, and forms. The challenge just started and each and every material and technology has potential. It is most important to overcome communication barriers between Polymer Science and Robotics. Polymer scientists should have the courage to learn about Robotics to achieve innovation success.
Keywords: Robotics / Business / Innovation
Detection of Tactile Signals using Soft Robot Hand
関根 智仁
Tomohito SEKINE
<要旨> Tactile sensing is required for a dexterous feedback system of an object in robotic-skin applications. Moreover, an ability to monitor various physical forces such as pressure and shear in real time is a key technology for a slip detection with fragile objects. As a way of solving the above, a flexible printed sensors will be invaluable, because these possess great potential advantages for the robotics-skin applications due to their high sensitivity. Previously, fabrication of soft sensors and their application for robotic skins was reported by many groups; however, realization of a multi sensing devices by printing methods remain a challenging task. Recently, we developed flexible and soft sensors that were fabricated using a ferroelectric polymer, nano carbons, and a conducting polymer by printing methods for tactile signals detection. Here, we report a wearable and printed soft robotic multi sensors composed of shear, pressure and temperature sensors for detection of tactile signals.
Keywords: Soft Robot / Sensor / Tactile / Ferroelectric Polymer / Conductive Polymer / Nano Carbon
Nanosheet-Based Devices for Supporting the Supple Actuation of Soft Robots
藤枝 俊宣・鉄 祐磨
Toshinori FUJIE, Yuma TETSU
<要旨> We focus on polymeric materials for the development of soft robots that actuate like a living body. For the supple actuation of the soft robots, devices such as sensors and actuators mounted on the soft robot should be light and flexible. In this regard, we exploited polymeric ultra-thin films (“nanosheets”) as ultra-flexible substrates. The ultra-thin structure of polymer nanosheets with tens- to hundreds-of-nanometer thickness reduces the flexural rigidity, which is proportional to the Young’s modulus and the cubic of film thickness. Combining the polymer nanosheet with printed electronics, a variety of ultra-thin electronics were demonstrated; ultra-conformable bioelectrodes for measuring electromyogram, skin-contact strain gauge sensors for measuring deformation of skin, and self-deployable antenna coils for wireless powering. Bio-hybrid actuators were also developed by muscle tissue engineering with microgrooved thin films, which showed electrically driven actuation by engineered myotubes. Nanosheet technologies will play an important role for the embodiment of electronic or bio-devices on soft robots.
Keywords: Polymeric Ultra-Thin Film / Bioelectrode / Strain Gauge Sensor / Antenna Coil / Biohybrid Actuator
Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Soft Robotics
眞弓 皓一・中井 孝憲
Koichi MAYUMI, Takanori NAKAI
<要旨> Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) with slidable cross-links have been fabricated by cross-linking polyrotaxanes via macrocrosslinkers. The fast slidability of the cross-linking points leads to their softness (small Young’s modulus) and no mechanical hysteresis of the elastomers, which increases displacement and reduce energy loss under electric fields. In this article, we introduce the mechanical properties of the slide-ring elastomers for DEAs and their applications for soft robotics and IoT.
Keywords: Dielectric Elastomer Actuator / Slide-Ring Elstomer / Soft Robotics / IoT
Soft Actuators for Realization of Soft Robotics/Pneumatic Artificial Muscle
櫻井 良
<要旨> Because of the sophistication of peripheral technologies such as electronic control and A.I. technology, robots are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and due to the emergence of social issues such as the declining birthrate, the aging population, and the shortage of labor, expectations are also growing for robots to solving these issues. As such a robot should be close to humans, it becomes a major premise that it is safe. This robot would be composed of flexible materials that are safe even if it is incontact with humans, and furthermore, a realization of flexible and safe movements is required. For this desired achievement, there are many contributions expected from polymer science, especially in the area of soft polymer materials. Here, such components (soft actuator, soft sensor) of the robot, composed of the polymer material expected for the realization of the soft robot, are described. In addition, as an example of the soft actuator, the McKibben type rubber-artificial muscles are introduced.
Keywords: Soft Sensors and Actuators / Soft Robotics
グローイングポリマー Polymer Science and I: A Personal Account
Growing Pain
細野 暢彦
Nobuhiko HOSONO
<要旨> Everyone has experienced growing pains in childhood. The pain accompanies your growth. This could be also true for the academic spirit. When you try to grow up and develop yourself, you must experience the growing pain in your mind. When you feel pains, this must bring you a growth.
高分子科学最近の進歩 Front-Line Polymer Science
Molecular Robotics: Towards the World of Artifacts Propelled by Chemical Energy Actuators
小長谷 明彦
<要旨> It has been more than 10 years since the research community announced the concept of molecular robotics, that is, the development of self-propelled bio-molecular artifacts with sense and intelligence in 2000. Its feasibility was firstly proved by the four amoeba-type molecular robots developed in the MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “molecular robotics” (2012-2016 fiscal years). The next challenges are to apply molecular robotics for solving real-world issues. The NEDO molecular artificial muscle project (2016-2019 fiscal years) aims to develop chemical energy actuators driven by ATPs as like life things. The project has already developed a muscle like molecular contraction system composed of chemically-modified microtubules and motor proteins. A rod-like DNA origami motif facilitates self-assembly of microtubules into asters. Atomic-level molecular simulation system followed by an interactive virtual reality visualization contributes to rational design of super molecules including DNA origami and microtubules.
Keywords: Molecular Robotics / Artificial Muscle / DNA Origami / Giant Liposome / Molecular Simulation