Seminars 2010‎ > ‎

Dr. Shuichi Wakimoto


Assistant Professor, Okayama University, Japan


He received his Doctor of Engineering degree in 2007. From 2004 to 2007, during his
doctor course studentship, he was an active research fellow of Japan Society for the
Promotion of Science. Since 2007 till now he is an assistant professor at Okayama
University. His current research interests are soft actuators and their applications.
These researches are supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology, Japan.

Abstract: Soft Mechanical System

When the term “Mechanical System” is mentioned, immediately we will visualize a
robot, an automobile, an airplane and many others. Generally, mechanical system is
configured with many rigid parts. These conventional mechanical systems having
numerous rigid parts strongly support industrial activities and our daily life.
On the other hand, currently there are increasing needs for mechanical systems to
handle fragile objects in medical, biological, agriculture fields and so on. These
mechanisms must ensure “high safety”, since their contacts with human being,
biological tissue, fruits, etc are direct and physical. Therefore safety from controlling is
insufficient, hence it must be realized from “hardware”.
Presently, we have developed “Soft Mechanical Systems”, consisting only soft materials.
Evidently, these systems can ensure true safety mechanically without the need for
special controls. However, focus has to be on “Soft Actuator”, which is the most
important element of dynamic mechanical systems and due to its nonlinear property
material, it is the most difficult element to realize. Our research group had developed
some novel soft actuators using nonlinear finite element method and has applied them
to mechanical systems.
In my coming lecture, I will mainly speak about and show our novel soft actuators
developed by our research team, including design method, fabrication process and their
motions. To ensure better understanding of our work, some of the soft actuator
applications will be also explained. Additionally, I will also introduce our laboratory
where many interesting researches on actuators were and are currently conducted, not
only limited to soft actuators but also expands to several other kinds of actuators and
their applications.

Awards:

  • Presentation Encouraging Award from Machine Design & Tribology Division of the
  • Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2005
  • Dean Award from Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama
  • University in 2007
  • Excellent Presentation Award from System Integration Division of the Society of
  • Instrument and Control Engineers in 2008
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