Robotic engineers at Georgia Tech have successfully replicated muscle motion of the human eye to robots using control camera systems.The new control system is based on a piezoelectric cellular actuator that allows a robot eye to move more like a real one, making benefits like safer robotic equipment, improved understanding of eye motion, and more intuitive video feeds from robot cameras.
PhD candidate and researcher Joshua Schultz of Georgia Institute of Technology says “For a robot to be truly bio-inspired, it should possess actuation, or motion generators, with properties in common with the musculature of biological organisms,”
In the human eye muscles are controlled by neural impulses. Schultz’s group developed the actuators in the lab which posses many properties in common with biological muscle, especially a cellular structure. This cellular actuators capture the kinematics and performance of the human eye.
This development will have large range of applications in many industries as well as medical field.
About Piezoelectric materials:
The transform of input signal converts into motion by the expansion or contraction effect of piezoelectric materials due to the application of electricity is the working principle of robotic human eye movement. This is achieved by connecting many small actuator units in series or in parallel. Cellular actuator concept was born by from the inspiration by biological muscle structure.
“Each muscle-like actuator consists of a piezoelectric material and a nested hierarchical set of strain amplifying mechanisms,” says assistant professor Jun Ueda.