Underwater robots are currently utilized to evaluate water quality and the undersea landscape. Small-sized underwater robots are especially useful in improving the spatial resolution of the measurements, yielding high-quality data. This chapter describes a small-sized fish-like robot, with its surface composed of a flexible thin plastic film. Its internal components, including an actuator, could be encapsulated in the plastic film using a vacuum packaging machine. To simplify the waterproofing and pressure resistance properties of the fish-like robot, its internal components can be filled with insulating fluid. The plastic film on the surface has electromagnetic-wave-transmitting properties, allowing sensors to be arranged within the device, enabling assessment of its autonomous locomotion using infrared sensors. Robot attitude can be altered, based on geography of its internal components, floating blocks, and insulating fluid. This attitude could be especially determined by the differences in densities between the floating block and insulating fluid. Evaluation of attitude control showed that an insulating fluid heavier than water allows a large variation.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Robotic Systems
This chapter presents serial link robots laminated with a plastic film, a derivation of the equations of motion of the laminated robots, and numerical simulation. Recently, to become capable of wide application for several serial link robots that work outside, waterproofing and dustproofing techniques are required. We have proposed a robot packaging method to improve waterproof and dustproof properties of serial link robots. Using the proposed packaging method, rigid links with some active joints are loosely laminated with plastic film to protect the links from dust and water. In the next step of our research, we must derive the equations of motion of the laminated robots for the design and performance improvement from the viewpoint of high speed and high energy efficiency. We assume a plastic film as a closed-loop link structure with passive joints in this chapter. A rigid serial link (fin) connected with a motor-actuated joint moves a closed-loop link structure with passive joints. We numerically investigate the influence of the flexural rigidity of a plastic film on the motion of the rigid fin. This research not only contributes to the lamination techniques but also develops a novel application of waterproofing and dustproofing techniques in robotics.
Part of the book: Lamination