Published on May 30th,2011 at 5:31 PM
By >DigInfo TV

Cilium – Robot Hair Interface

Cilium - Robot Hair Interface

The Shunji Yamanaka Research Group at Keio University is doing R&D on an interface that copies the movement of cilium. Cilia are microscopic hairs on the surface of a cell which can react in unison, and are used by some microorganisms for movement. Although ordinarily soft and flexible, this device emphasizes the movement of cilium by making them hard and rigid.

“Every day we think about how to make man-made objects move in such a manner that people might think they were living things, as we conduct research in the Robotic Interface Project. One example that we made is this item, what we call Cilium. This is usually just a straight rod, and it is circling as if it were trailing in water, but if you touch the front end it reacts like, “What’s this?” and they move to gather there as if in reaction to stimuli. The movement is lifelike in those two ways, the circulating movement and the reaction.”

This movement is created by using 4 biometal rods. Biometal is a thin fiber actuator that moves like muscle when electricity flows through it, and is characterized by lifelike flexible movement. In this device, after electrostatic capacitor sensors attached to the ends of the rods detect their position, the biometal rods are made to move based on calculations from a PC.

“Right now we are only making objects that are not useful in the real world in this project. But we think that the movements we can be satisfying, and may be used in some kind of project in the future, and we expect that the essential findings can likely be used.”

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Category Robot
              
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