The Development of Actuators for the Whole Skin Locomotion Robot
Williams, Eric Andrew
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The Whole Skin Locomotion robot propels itself using a motion similar to the cytoplasmic streaming exhibited by an amoeba. In the robot there are embedded ring actuators which evert the material of the robot to produce forward motion. The robot benefits from a highly flexible exterior allowing it to squeeze into constricted passageways or collapsed structures. The development of actuators for such a motion is performed by a shape memory alloy composite actuator. Unlike a typical composite model which utilizes a homogenization of fiber and matrix properties our model is developed for line loads produced in individual shape memory alloy wires onto the rod structure. The load vectors are determined in the deformed configuration of the actuator to account for the highly deformed actuator profiles that would be seen in operation. Also the load requirements for such actuators are developed in terms of the constriction forces and functional design limits are established. In addition, a helical spring backbone design is considered and stiffness properties for general helical springs are determined. The contact of spring coils is included in the analysis and a coupled constitutive model is developed for the spring when coils are in contact. The static design of helical springs for use in the actuators is performed and deformation and load restrictions are determined for subsequent design efforts.
- Doctoral Dissertations