Chopsticks are a popular tool used every day by 1.5 billion people to pick up pieces of food of different sizes and shapes. Given that the use of chopsticks requires sophisticated muscle control, they are difficult to use for unskilled people. In this study, a chopstick robot that uses a new soft actuator was developed. Firstly, we developed an X-shaped soft actuator and tested its performance. When a voltage was applied to the actuator, the gap in the X shape was reduced by the resulting electrostatic force. Conversely, when the power was turned off, the actuator recovered its original shape owing to the elasticity of its material. We attached the X-shaped soft actuator between the chopsticks. The chopstick robot, controlled by the input voltage, can pick up various objects in the switched-on state and is able to release them when switched off. We tested the performance of the chopstick robot and analyzed the forces acting on the chopsticks. The robot can be used for picking up various objects. Moreover, the X-shaped actuator can be adapted for use in various studies, through different shapes and configurations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the KIST flagship program under Project 2E30280 and the Technology Innovation Program for Development of robotic work control technology capable of grasping and manipulating various objects in everyday life environment based on multimodal recognition and using tools funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy under grant number 20001856.
© 2020 by the authors.
- Electrostatic actuator
- Soft actuator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Control and Optimization