2006 Volume 19 Issue 8 Pages 319-326
It is found from the locomotion of snake-like underwater robot using Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite (IPMC) as its actuator that, although we specify the same amplitude of driven voltages to each segmented IPMC unit, the resultant bending amplitudes along the body's progressive waves change from small to large toward the robot's tail. To analyze this phenomenon, which is also observed in locomotions of slender fishes, we discuss the modeling and analysis of bending motions of IPMC actuators using the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. Eigenfunction expansion technique is used to solve the model of a partial differential equation. The envelope curve can be drawn by the obtained solution, and simulation results reappear the same phenomenon. Deflection of the real robot is measured by video camera and laser beam. Experimental results verifies the validity of the proposed model. Parameter identification is also performed with measured data.