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A Smart Ultrasonic Actuator with Multidegree of Freedom for Unmanned Vehicle Guidance Industrial Applications

Mahmoud Shafik, M. Elvis Ashu, B. Nyathi


A smart piezoelectric ultrasonic actuator with multidegree of freedom for unmanned vehicle guidance industrial applications is presented in this paper. The proposed actuator is aiming to increase the visual spotlight angle of digital visual data capture transducer. Furthermore research are still undertaken to integrate the actuator with an infrared sensor, visual data capture digital transducers and obtain the trajectory of motion control algorithm.

The actuator consists of three main parts, the stator, rotor and housing unit. The stator is a piezoelectric ring made from S42 piezoelectric  material, bonded to three electrodes made from a material that has a close Characteristics to the S42. The rotor is a ball made from steel  material. The actuator working principles is based on creating micro elliptical motions of surface points, generated by superposition of  longitudinal and bending vibration modes, of oscillating structures. Transferring this motion from flexible ring transducer through the three electrodes, to the attached rotor, create 3D motions.

The actuator Design, structures, working principles and finite element analysis are discussed in this paper. A prototype of the actuator was fabricated and its characteristics measured. Experimental tests showed the ability of the developed prototype to provide multidegree of freedom with typical speed of movement equal to 35 rpm, a resolution of less than 5μm and maximum load of 3.5 Newton. These characteristics illustrated the potential of the developed smart actuator, to gear the spotlight angle of digital visual data capture transducers and possible improvement that such microactuator technology could bring to the unmanned vehicle guidance and machine vision industrial applications.

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