Design and testing of an improved animatronic toy actuator
Author(s)Muhleman, Jacob M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
David R. Wallace.
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This thesis contributes to the development of a new type of actuator for use in robotic toy automation. The work covers an incremental series of experiments that examine, analyze, prototype, and test various ideas for converting the vibration of a voice coil into rotational motion. In its final form, it is believed that this actuator will provide a lowspeed, high-torque output using a single unit, eliminating the need for external gearing. Currently, such motion is actuated by direct current motors equipped with gear boxes that are both noisy and bulky. This new type of actuator will function more quietly, using a frequency lower than humans' sensory threshold for sound while making the movement of robotic toys more life-like when used to imitate animals. Furthermore, by using relatively inexpensive voice coils, this new type of actuator will potentially be less expensive to manufacture than currently used motors, and bring toys one step closer to accurately representing real life forms. The current prototype has some of the characteristics desired in a DC motor replacement, exhibiting a relatively high output torque and low angular velocity. However, the power output is much smaller that what would be useful. Also, the current prototype is larger than what would be useful in most animatronic toys. Future testing will need to address these issues in order to make the actuator into a viable product.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 33).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology