A fingerprint method for variability and robustness analysis of stochastically controlled cellular actuator arrays
MacNair, David L.
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This paper presents a “Fingerprint Method” for modeling and subsequently characterizing stochastically controlled actuator arrays. The actuator arrays are built from small actuator cells with structural elasticity. These cells are controlled using a bistable stochastic process wherein all cells are given a common input probability (control) value which they use to determine whether to actuate or relax. Arranging the cells in different networks gives different actuator array properties, which must be found before the actuator arrays can be applied to manipulators. The fingerprint method is used to describe and automatically generate every possible stochastic actuator array topology for a given number of cells, and to calculate actuator array properties such as: travel, required actuator strength/displacement, force range, force variance, and robustness for any array topology. The properties of several illustrative examples are shown and a discussion covers the importance of the properties, and trends between actuator array layouts and their properties. Finally, results from a validation experiment using a stochastically controlled solenoid array are presented.