Actuation using ULTRASONIC VIBRATION and FUNCTIONAL FLUID are the technologies of our specialty. We utilize these strong points to contribute to various fields including cell engineering, tactile sensor/display, soft robots etc. Our interest covers wide variety of fields, but is closely related to living creatures and a human being.
Engineering cells with ultrasonic vibration
Cultured cells may innovate the field of medicine. Regenerative medicine is actively studied to make a patient recover from serious disorders. Organ-on-a-chip may be used for drag discovery and drag screening – no need to use lab animals. Either way seeks a mass culture of cells, where mechanical engineers can contribute. Here, we apply our ultrasonic technology to cell cultivation process to truly automate and homogenize the messy culture procedure, which is manually conducted in general.
Ultrasonic pumping collects single-cell suspension – A method for collecting single cell suspensions using an ultrasonic pump
Natural vibration mode of substrate patterns cell – Cell patterning method using resonance vibration of metallic cell cultivation substrate
Tactile sensor system based on human tactile perception mechanism
Tactile sensor channel is crucial for environment recognition together with other sensor channels. It uses large area of somatosensory area of our brain, meaning that the tactile cue is important/involved. Accordingly, the tactile sense is expressed with hundred of thousands of words. We take on a challenge on quantify this complicated sensory cue, starting with understanding human tactile perception mechanism from the mechanical engineering viewpoint.
Threshold amplitude to detect vibration stimuli is the key to estimate firing value of mechanoreceptors – Tactile Evaluation based on Human Tactile Perception Mechanism
Cooperation of human and robot may be happening at home. More gentle operation of living tissue may be required for medical robot. Such applications always look for flexible and compact actuation system. Functional fluids are a possible solution for this. Soft robot which is composed of soft materials is driven by the pressure of electro-conjugate fluid flow induce only by the electric field applied.
Artificial inchworm driven with fluid pressure has its pumping system inside – Micro Inchworm Robot using Electro-conjugate Fluid
Flexible robot hand with 7-DOF of motion, each finger and palm motion – A Robot Hand Using Electro-conjugate Fluid: Grasping experiment with balloon actuators inducing a palm motion of robot hand
Droplet microTAS with pump included
Micro total analysis system or microTAS is a promising on-chip assay device for chemical and biomedical samples. Handling samples in droplet state may reduce the required volume of sample/regent and accelerate the analysis. Generating and controlling the droplets on a chip is one of the big challenge of mechanical engineers.
Multiple droplets can be controlled independently along channels – Droplet μTAS using Electro-conjugate Fluid – Feedback position control of multiple droplets in flow channel matrix
Droplet can be generated just on a chip – Droplet generating device for Droplet-based μTAS using electro-conjugate fluid