Actuation provides motion control of an object and acquires reaction force as information through the motion. We advocate a new network structure called informotion, which is a coin combining information and motion to express those intrinsic characteristics possessed by actuation. After we will summarize informotionology which becomes one of academic fields of the informotion, we will progress the control method of informotion network systems causing complex systems’ behavior due to variety of actuators, and then we introduce emotion control, which is one of the most effective applications of the informotion network. Using variety of actuators we will control human emotion such as comfort feeling, courage and confidence. In this report, we describe two examples. One of them is Kinesthetic Illusion (KI) inducing movement feeling of limbs, which is controlled through vibration caused by a voice coil motor. KI has a possibility to enhance peaceful feeling on distal radius fracture patients. The other is Velvet Hand Illusion (VHI) inducing soft and smooth virtual surfaces, which is controlled through an array of piezoelectric ceramic actuators. VHI strength is related to integration processing of information in brain followed through Gestalts.
At first, the contemporary situation of recent several years in which noncontinuous innovation occurs continuously is shown. Next, an author’s vision of an ideal society in 2050 is shown. Then, the image of the actuator in 2050 is prospected from the history of the progress of the actuator technology and the present state of the latest research. By 2050, cyber-space (virtual world) and physical-space (real world) will be fused and form a society. All actuators and sensors in the world should be connected through the crowd network. The “Informotion” deals with such network with reference to living organisms. The outlook of informotion in the future and some social system applications are shown.
Internet of Things IoT has mainly developed based on analytic and logical thinking, while sensibility processing has poorly designed. The main reason for it is the difficulties of the informatization of sensitivity information. For example, the difference between the sensibility of hearing cheerful "Good morning" and not-cheerful "Good morning" is a difference in the way of speaking. The method of speaking is the change in the strength of voice. Although in-formatization of sensibility information is generally not easy, it can informatize by focusing on changes in intensity. Therefore, we proposed the Tactile Score as a method to describe the difference in strength. By using the tactile score, we can informatize and connect the multimedia sensibility to IoT. We have applied these techniques to extract sensibility information from body movements (sensibility informotion) and transform into sounds and tactile media.
Automation of the cell culture process is one of the biggest challenges in cell therapy, including regenerative medicine, drug screening, and body-on-chip drug development. Cell culture processes that involve cell seeding, culture, detachment, and collection processes are typically performed manually by a technician. In order to establish an efficient and stable mass culture process for cells, “informotion technology” may play an important role. Using actuator / sensor technology to automate cell culture processes and network them online enables to share know-how to deal with live cells. By doing so, we can efficiently provide a large amount of cells ready to accelerate the spread of regenerative medicine. Ultrasonic actuation technology has proven its potential for use in cell culture automation.
Electrostatic film actuators are made of thin sheets with embedded electrodes. By utilizing transparent sheets and transparent conductive materials, the whole actuators can be made transparent. Such transparent actuators can be inte-grated with visual displays, such as LCDs. The integrated displays can present rich information to users through com-binations of visual images and physical motions on the same surface. In this article, the basic aspects of electrostatic film actuators are introduced. Then, the integration of the electrostatic actuators with LCD monitors is discussed with some examples. The integrated display can be utilized for amusement purposes or “physicalization” of information. For example, results of physics simulations can be “physicalized” by moving an object using the actuator. The paper also introduces electro-adhesion as another type of electrostatic actuations. Electro-adhesion can also be integrated with visual displays to realize haptic-rendering functions on an LCD surface.
What is the appropriate method for human-robot interactions to support the motions? Sense of agency, that is the subjective awareness of controlling one’s own volitional actions, is easily lost when motions are directory supported by the robot. We have proposed the bio-mimetic behavior adaptation algorithm called tacit learning. Tacit learning can tune the roughly defined behaviors to the sophisticated ones through body-environment interactions. Sophisticated behaviors here mean that the behaviors are more adapted to the environment. We apply tacit learning for controlling the human motion support robots and succeeded to support motions maximizing sense of agency of the users. In this paper, we show the basic idea of human motion support with tacit learning introducing the motion support by the exoskeleton robot and the forearm prosthesis.
It’s possible to measure static load using piezoelectric ceramics by sticking 2 pieces of identical ceramics together. When one of the ceramics is oscillated at its resonant frequency, the other ceramics generates voltage by following up to the motion of the actuator ceramics. When the vibration of the body is suppressed due to the impressed load, the sensor voltage drops according to the magnitude of the load. Vibration analysis proved that the configuration of the vibration of the sensor body is 1st mode bending of a thin circular plate. It’s also turned out that the characteristics of the sensor voltage are dominated not by the magnitude of the load but by the contact area of the load with the ceramics. Therefore, introducing the cushion material between the load and the ceramics, which alters the contact area according to the magnitude of the load, will be able to control the sensitivity and the linearity of the sensor voltage to the load.
An electromagnetic objective lens actuator for optical disc drives has been developed in order to reduce higher-order resonance amplitude in frequency response characteristics of the actuator. The actuator has a configuration in which each set of three adjacent magnets is located to oppose each of the two sides of the lens holder and each polarization of the center magnet is set in reverse to those of the two outside magnets. The driving force in the positive focusing direction is generated at the focusing coil portions opposing the two outside magnets and the driving force in the negative focusing direction is generated at the focusing coil portions opposing the center magnet. This driving force distribution cancels the bending deformation of the vibration mode at the higher-order resonance. The resulting amplitude of the higher-order resonance in the focusing direction of the developed actuator with this three-polar magnetic structure for 9.5 mm-height Blu-ray Disc drives was successfully reduced to 2 dB or under.