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IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999

Micro Inspection Robot for 1-in Pipes

Koichi Suzumori, Member, IEEE, Toyomi Miyagawa, Masanobu Kimura, and Yukihisa Hasegawa

Abstract— A micro inspection robot for 1-in pipes has been developed. The robot is 23 mm in diameter and 110 mm in length and is equipped with a high-quality micro charge-coupled device (CCD) camera and a dual hand for manipulating small objects in pipes. It can travel through both vertical pipes and curved sections, making possible inspections that would be difficult with conventional endoscopes. Its rate of travel is 6 mm/s and it has a load-pulling power of 1 N. To realize this microrobot, the authors have specially designed and developed several micro devices and micromechanisms: a novel micromechanism called a planetary wheel mechanism for robot drive; a micro electromagnetic motor with a micro planetary reduction gear to drive the planetary wheel mechanism; a micro pneumatic rubber actuator that acts as a hand; a micro CCD camera with high resolution; and a pneumatic wobble motor for rotating the camera and hands. In this paper, the design and performance of these micro devices are reported, the performance of the robot as a whole is described, and an application example is given.

Index Terms—Microactuator, micromachine, microrobot, pipe inspection.

Microactuator, micromachine, microrobot, pipe inspection. Fig. 1. Configuration of micro inspection robot. I. I

Fig. 1.

Configuration of micro inspection robot.

I. INTRODUCTION

T HE need to carry out inspections inside small pipelines has grown recently [1]–[5], with particular demand re-

lating to the 1-in pipelines often found in chemical plants, heat exchangers, and gas or water supply systems. Some basic research on mobile mechanisms for use in pipes with smaller than 1-in inner diameter has been reported. These examples are driven by piezoelectric actuators [6]–[8], by giant magnetostrictive actuators [9], by pneumatic actuators [10]–[11], or by electromagnetic actuators [12]. However, these robots are still at the research stage and certain problems still have to be solved before they become practical; such microrobots for small pipes have low pulling force and have difficulty negotiating curved pipes or verti- cal pipes. Further, commercial charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras are too big to mount on these robots. The authors have developed a micro pipe-inspection robot for 1-in pipelines that offers good mobility and has function- ality suitable for practical use. It carries a 410 000 pixel color CCD camera, which provides enough resolution to locate 25- m micro cracks in the internal surface of a pipe and has a

m micro cracks in the internal surface of a pipe and has a Manuscript received July

Manuscript received July 17, 1998; revised February 12, 1999. Recom- mended by Technical Editor T. Fukuda.

K. Suzumori and T. Miyagawa are with the Mechanical Systems Labo-

ratory, Research and Development Center, Toshiba Corporation, Kawasaki 210-8582, Japan.

M. Kimura is with the Multi Media Engineering Laboratory, Toshiba

Corporation, Yokohama 235-0017, Japan.

Y. Hasegawa is with the Small Motor Development Center, Manufacturing

Engineering Research Center, Toshiba Corporation, Yokohama 235-8522, Japan. Publisher Item Identifier S 1083-4435(99)07438-4.

dual-hand system with six degrees of freedom for manipulating and recovering small objects. In Section II, the configuration of the robot system and its micro-functional elements—a new wheel mechanism, a micro electromagnetic motor, a pneumatic micro actuator for the hands, a micro CCD camera, and a pneumatic wobble motor—are described. Section III gives some performance data and describes an application of the robot.

II. ROBOT SYSTEM AND MICRO DEVICES

A. System

Figs. 1 and 2 give an overview of the robot. It is 23 mm in external diameter, 110 mm in length, and weighs 16 g. Mounted on the front of the robot are a TV camera and a dual micro hand. These enable observations of the pipe surface, recovery of lost parts, and sampling of scaling from pipes. Fig. 2 shows the robot carrying a small plastic cube. The camera and the hands can be rotated around the pipe axis by a pneumatic wobble motor, a newly developed high-torque micro motor. The robot has a flexible rubber link that bends passively to allow curved pipes to be negotiated. The flexible link has a planetary wheel mechanism at each end. These mechanisms have essentially the same structure, but the number of wheels is different, as shown in Fig. 1; the mechanism at the front has fewer wheels to allow for rotation of the camera and hands. Each consists of a set of wheels, an electromagnetic motor, and a mechanical paradox planetary gear drive. They drive the robot forward or backward.

1083–4435/99$10.00

1999 IEEE

SUZUMORI et al.: MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES

SUZUMORI et al. : MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES Fig. 2. Micro inspection robot carrying

Fig. 2.

Micro inspection robot carrying a recovered object in a 1-in pipe.

inspection robot carrying a recovered object in a 1-in pipe. Fig. 3. Robot control system. Fig.

Fig. 3.

Robot control system.

Fig. 3 is a diagram of the control system. The controller consists of motor drivers for the planetary wheel mechanisms, pneumatic valves for the pneumatic wobble motor and the mi- cro hands, and a camera control unit. The robot and controller are connected through four electrical cables for the two wheel drive motors, six pneumatic tubes for the hands, six pneumatic tubes for the wobble motor, and 12 electrical cables for the CCD camera. Each electrical cable and pneumatic tube is about 0.4 mm in diameter. The bundle of cables and tubes total about 6 mm in diameter and 20 g/m in weight. It is flexible enough to pass through curved pipes. The robot is controlled manually by an operator observing the CCD images and handling a joystick and buttons on a control pendant.

B. Planetary Wheel Mechanism

In general, wheel mechanisms for in-pipe locomotion are required to provide two actions: wheel rotation and forcing the wheels against the pipe inner wall. Our planetary mechanism achieves both with only a single motor and a simple mech- anism that is suitable for miniaturization. The basic concept was developed by one of the authors, and has already been applied to a pipe-inspection robot for 2-in pipes [10]. Precise gear fabrication by micro wire electrical discharge machining made it possible to miniaturize the mechanism.

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machining made it possible to miniaturize the mechanism. 287 Fig. 4. Cross section of wheel mechanism:

Fig. 4. Cross section of wheel mechanism: electromagnetic motor reduction gear drive and planetary wheel mechanism.

Fig. 4 shows the principle of the planetary wheel mecha- nism. An electromagnetic motor drives the sun gears through a reduction gear drive and a worm gear (only one of the sun gears is shown in Fig. 4). Each sun gear has two planetary gears, which are carried on a triangle-shaped link that allows them to revolve around the sun gear. The wheels are fixed to the same shaft as the planetary gears. To drive the robot to the left in Fig. 4, the gears rotate as shown in the figure. The planetary gears, wheels, and triangular links turn around the sun gear to push the rear wheels against the pipe wall. The greater load on the robot in the pipe’s axial direction causes an increased reaction force from the pipe wall. This, in turn, generates torque that turns the triangular links and pushes the rear wheels firmly onto the pipe wall. Thus, the force pushing the wheel onto the pipe wall is controlled mechanically according to the axial load acting on the robot, with no need for sensors nor electric control. The sun gears and the planetary gears have helical teeth that match the pitch angle of the worm gear.

helical teeth that match the pitch angle of the worm gear. C. Electromagnetic Motor and Planetary

C. Electromagnetic Motor and Planetary Reduction Gear Drive

Fig. 4 also shows the reduction gear drive and the elec- tromagnetic motor. The electromagnetic motor output is con- nected directly to the input shaft of the reduction gear indicated by “a” in Fig. 4, and the output from the planetary reduction gear “d” is connected to the worm gear. Table I shows the specifications of the motor. The electro- magnetic motor is 5 mm in diameter and 8 mm in length. It consists of a stator yoke, which acts also as the motor casing, six thin coils on the stator, and a rotor. The rotor consists of a ring-shaped samarium cobalt magnet into which is inserted a shaft supported by miniature ball bearings. The motor has no brushes and no sensor, allowing miniaturization, and is driven synchronously [13]. The rotor is magnetized such that it has four poles. The stator coils are fabricated on a flexible thin film as shown in Fig. 5, where a grain of rice is shown for comparison.

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IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999

TABLE I

ELECTROMAGNETIC MOTOR SPECIFICATIONS

1999 TABLE I E LECTROMAGNETIC M OTOR S PECIFICATIONS Fig. 5. Electromagnetic micro motor with a
1999 TABLE I E LECTROMAGNETIC M OTOR S PECIFICATIONS Fig. 5. Electromagnetic micro motor with a

Fig. 5.

Electromagnetic micro motor with a grain of rice for comparison.

micro motor with a grain of rice for comparison. Fig. 6. Planetary reduction gear drive. The

Fig. 6.

Planetary reduction gear drive.

The flexible film is curved for insertion into the casing ring. Each coil is of copper wire and has 35 turns. Experimental results indicate that the maximum torque is 0.17 N m, and the maximum energy efficiency is 22% with an applied voltage of 4 V. The design of the reduction gear drive is based on a planetary paradox gear mechanism [14]. This design offers a simple structure which needs no retainer and no bearings, while providing a high reduction ratio. Gears, a, b, c, and d in Fig. 4 have a tooth module of 0.05 and the tooth numbers are 12, 29, 69, and 72, respectively. Fig. 6 shows a front view of the reduction gear drive. The reduction ratio is 1/162. A further speed reduction of 1/10 is achieved between the output of the reduction gear and the planetary wheel shafts,

output of the reduction gear and the planetary wheel shafts, Fig. 7. Micro CCD camera head
output of the reduction gear and the planetary wheel shafts, Fig. 7. Micro CCD camera head

Fig. 7.

Micro CCD camera head with a mechanical pencil for comparison.

TABLE II

MICRO CAMERA AND LENS SPECIFICATIONS

TABLE II M ICRO C AMERA AND L ENS S PECIFICATIONS thus leading to a total

thus leading to a total reduction ratio of 1/1620 between the motor and the wheel shafts.

D. Flexible Link

The flexible link, which connects the two planetary wheel mechanisms, is made of a thin silicone rubber tube. It deforms passively as the robot negotiates curved pipes and elbow joints. The electrical cables and pneumatic tubes pass through it.

E. CCD Camera

Fig. 7 shows the micro CCD camera head mounted on the robot, with a mechanical pencil shown for comparison. The camera has a 1/4-in color CCD with 410 K pixels. It is 7 mm in diameter, 12 mm in length, and weights 1.2 g. This camera head includes the CCD, an optical filtering glass, a micro optical lens, and a subordinate circuit module. The power supply and drive signals for the CCD, such as for vertical and horizontal timing, are supplied from the camera controller through cables. The camera controller incorporates digital processing functions such as automatic luminance, which controls the iris and the shuttering period, and white balance. Images with 470 TV lines in horizontal and 350 TV lines in vertical resolution are obtained, and micro cracks with 25- m width on pipe surface are easily recognized. Table II shows the specifications of the camera and lens. To miniaturize the camera head, a new packaging technique was used, TOG: TAB (tape automated bonding) on glass [15]. The TOG technique achieves direct bonding of the CCD onto the optical filter, as shown in Fig. 8, giving a package size almost the same as the bare CCD chip. The optical filter glass cuts out light with wave lengths longer than 700 nm. The finished camera head is 7 mm in diameter and 12 mm in length.

cuts out light with wave lengths longer than 700 nm. The finished camera head is 7

SUZUMORI et al.: MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES

SUZUMORI et al. : MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES Fig. 8. Cross section of micro
Fig. 8. Cross section of micro CCD camera head. Fig. 9. Configuration of micro hands.
Fig. 8.
Cross section of micro CCD camera head.
Fig. 9.
Configuration of micro hands.

F. Micro Hand

Micro handling devices are often required in pipes for recovering lost parts or sampling scaling from the pipe wall. To provide dexterous micro hands with many degrees of freedom, we adopt a flexible microactuator (FMA), a new type of pneumatic rubber actuator [16]. The FMA is made of a fiber-reinforced rubber and is driven pneumatically. It has three internal chambers, the internal pressure in each of which is controlled independently through flexible tubes connected to pneumatic control valves. Suitable control of the pneumatic pressure in each chamber enables motion with three degrees of freedom: bending in any direction and stretching. Fig. 9 shows a dual-hand system mounted on the robot, consisting of two FMA’s. Each FMA is 3 mm in diam- eter and 15 mm in length. The pressure in each chamber is controlled digitally through six pneumatic flexible tubes 0.4 mm in outer diameter and 0.2 mm in inner diameter. Five typical examples of FMA motion used in our applica- tion—normal, open, down, and grasp—are shown in Fig. 9. Table III shows the control codes used to achieve each type of motion, where the valve numbers correspond to the chamber numbers shown in Fig. 9. Table III also shows two sequential operating modes—a pickup mode and a place mode—which are achieved with a single operator action to realize to grasp

TABLE III

FMA HAND DRIVE CODES

289

to realize to grasp TABLE III FMA H AND D RIVE C ODES 289 Fig. 10.
to realize to grasp TABLE III FMA H AND D RIVE C ODES 289 Fig. 10.

Fig. 10.

Cross section of pneumatic micro wobble motor.

an object from the pipe wall and to place an object against the pipe wall, respectively. These hands are found experimentally to be capable of grasping any object from the pipe wall within the range from 1 to 4 mm and 1 to 3 g in weight. The response time of the hands is about 0.5 s. Other features of these hands are: 1) waterproof and dustproof; 2) high compliance and shape adaptability to the shape of the object to be handled; and 3) light weight.

G. Pneumatic Wobble Motor

To rotate the camera and the hands for circular scanning of the pipe walls, a new type of pneumatic motor has been developed. The motor is required to generate relatively high torque for its size because the cables and pneumatic tubes used to supply power to the camera and the hands are stiff relative to their size. In general, the load imposed by stiffness becomes a bigger problem as a robot is made smaller. In the case of this robot, a conventional electromagnetic motor cannot be used here because it requires a reduction gear drive to increase the torque; this would make it too long to negotiate elbow joints. The newly developed motor is called a pneumatic wobble motor [17]. Figs. 10 and 11 show a cross section and the disassembled motor, respectively. It consists mainly of a wobble generator, a wobble ring, and a rotor, as shown in the figures. The wobble generator is of silicone rubber and is structured with six chambers. Pressurizing each chamber sequentially as shown in Table IV through pneumatic tubes causes periodic elastic deformations of the wobble generator, thereby achieving revolution of the wobble ring. The wobble ring and rotor are made of stainless steel, and the internal gear and the external gear are fabricated on the wobble ring and on the rotor, respectively.

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IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999

TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999 Fig. 11. Disassembled pneumatic micro wobble motor.

Fig. 11.

Disassembled pneumatic micro wobble motor.

TABLE IV

SEQUENTIAL DRIVE CODES FOR PNEUMATIC WOBBLE MOTOR

S EQUENTIAL D RIVE C ODES FOR P NEUMATIC W OBBLE M OTOR The tooth number

The tooth number of the rotor is less than that of the wobble ring, and the external surface of the wobble ring is attached

to the internal surface of the wobble generator to allow the

wobble ring only to revolve but not to rotate. Thus, revolution

of the wobble ring causes rotation of the rotor. The relationship between the rotational speed of the rotor

and the revolution speed of the wobble ring is obtained

as follows:

revolution speed of the wobble ring is obtained as follows: where and represent the tooth numbers
revolution speed of the wobble ring is obtained as follows: where and represent the tooth numbers
revolution speed of the wobble ring is obtained as follows: where and represent the tooth numbers

where and represent the tooth numbers of the rotor and the wobble ring, respectively.

numbers of the rotor and the wobble ring, respectively. In this design, and thus This means
numbers of the rotor and the wobble ring, respectively. In this design, and thus This means

In this design,

the rotor and the wobble ring, respectively. In this design, and thus This means that 35

and

rotor and the wobble ring, respectively. In this design, and thus This means that 35 revolutions

thus

and the wobble ring, respectively. In this design, and thus This means that 35 revolutions of

This means that 35 revolutions of the wobble ring lead to one

rotation of the rotor in the reverse direction. If the friction loss

of the meshing were 0, the torque of the wobble ring would

be amplified 35 times. Table V shows the specifications of the wobble motor. The developed motor is 9.4 mm in diameter and 6 mm in length. Experimental results show that the maximum torque is 7

m

N m, the maximum speed is 20 r/min, and the stepping

resolution is 210 step/rev. The motor is controlled by an open-

loop method, and no slip is measured with loads smaller than the maximum torque. The maximum torque of this motor

is about 20 times greater than that of an equivalently sized

conventional electromagnetic motor.

of an equivalently sized conventional electromagnetic motor. I I I . P E R F O
of an equivalently sized conventional electromagnetic motor. I I I . P E R F O

III. PERFORMANCE AND INSPECTION EXAMPLE

An application of the developed robot is described in this section. The experiment was carried out in the mockup pipe shown in Fig. 12. The configuration of the mockup is based on an actual pipe. The pipe is of acrylic and has two elbows, 120 and 150 mm in radius, respectively. The internal diameter of the pipe is 25 mm.

TABLE V

PNEUMATIC WOBBLE MOTOR SPECIFICATIONS

25 mm. TABLE V P NEUMATIC W OBBLE M OTOR S PECIFICATIONS Fig. 12. Mockup pipe
25 mm. TABLE V P NEUMATIC W OBBLE M OTOR S PECIFICATIONS Fig. 12. Mockup pipe

Fig. 12.

Mockup pipe for experiment.

The robot easily negotiated the pipe from starting point A, through the two elbows, point B, and also easily recovered 3-

mm cubes of plastic placed at point B. An operator controlled the robot using a control pendant while watching the image received from the camera. Fig. 13 shows images from the camera during hand rotation and using the camera to adjust

the orientation with respect to the object. Fig. 2 shows the

robot carrying the recovered object.

The same experiment was carried out in an actual steel

pipe which had been used to supply gas, and the robot again

performed well. Other basic experiments show that: 1) 25- m cracks on the pipe surface can be easily recognized by the camera; 2) the maximum travel speed is 6 mm/s and the maximum pulling force is 1 N; and 3) the robot can pull a 5-m cable in a vertical pipe.

N; and 3) the robot can pull a 5-m cable in a vertical pipe. IV. C

IV. CONCLUSIONS

1) Miniature devices have been newly designed, developed, and tested for use in a microrobot capable inspecting of 1-in pipes.

a) The micro electromagnetic motor, 5 mm in diam- eter and 8 mm in length, achieves 0.17 m N m and is used to drive the wheels.

b) The micro planetary reduction gear with a 1/162 reduction ratio is used in combination with the micro electromagnetic motor.

micro planetary reduction gear with a 1/162 reduction ratio is used in combination with the micro
micro planetary reduction gear with a 1/162 reduction ratio is used in combination with the micro

SUZUMORI et al.: MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES

SUZUMORI et al. : MICRO INSPECTION ROBOT FOR 1-IN PIPES Fig. 13. hands to position them

Fig. 13.

hands to position them for object recovery.

TV images from camera mounted on robot: rotating camera and

c) The micro dual hand is based on the FMA design and is mounted on the robot for manipulation tasks.

d) The high-quality micro CCD camera is 7 mm in diameter and 12 mm in length.

e) The pneumatic wobble motor (9.4 mm in diameter and 6 mm in length) achieves torque of 7 m N m and is used to rotate the camera and hands.

of 7 m N m and is used to rotate the camera and hands. 2) The
of 7 m N m and is used to rotate the camera and hands. 2) The

2) The pipe inspection robot has the following features.

a) The robot is 23 mm in diameter, 110 mm in length, and weighs 16 g. The maximum traveling speed is 6 mm/s, and the maximum pulling force is 1 N.

b) It negotiates vertical pipes and elbows.

c) The robot can pull a 5-m cable in a vertical pipe.

d) It can recover objects from pipes.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The authors thank S. Iikura and K. Hori for their useful advise and K. Araoka, S. Sekiguchi, N. Kojima, Y. Murata, and S. Sugi for their assistance in manufacturing the robot.

REFERENCES

[1] P. Jezequel, “Mobile robot for pipe inspection and maintenance,” Proc. SPIE-Int. Soc. Opt. Eng., vol. 852, pp. 282–287, 1987.

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[2] W. Neubauer, “Locomotion with articulated legs in pipes or dusts,” Robot. Autonomous Syst., vol. 11, nos. 3–4, pp. 163–169, 1993. [3] S. I. Schreiner, “Internal pipe inspection devices for use in radiation survey applications,” Trans. Amer. Nucl. Soc., vol. 71, pp. 514–515, Nov. 1994. [4] H.-B. Kuntze and H. Haffner, “Experiences with the development of a robot for smart multisensoric pipe inspection,” in Proc. 1998 IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, May 1998, pp. 1773–1778. [5] J. Hollingum, “Robots explore underground pipes,” Ind. Robot, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 321–325, 1998. [6] S. Aoshima et al., “A miniature mobile robot using piezo vibration for mobility in a thin tube,” ASME J. Dynam. Syst., Meas., Contr., vol. 115, pp. 270–278, June 1993.

[7]

T. Idogaki et al., “Characteristics of piezoelectric locomotive mechanism for an in-pipe micro inspection machine,” in Proc. IEEE 6th Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1995, pp. 193–198.

[8] T. Matsumoto et al., “A prototype model of micro mobile machine with piezoelectric driving force actuator,” in Proc. IEEE 5th Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1994, pp. 47–54. [9] T. Fukuda et al., “Giant magnetostrictive alloy (GMA) applications to micro mobile robot as a micro actuator without power supply cables,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Workshop Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Jan. 1991, pp. 210–215. [10] K. Suzumori and T. Abe, “Applying a flexible microactuators to pipeline inspection robots,” in Proc. IMACS/SICE Int. Symp. Robotics and Manufacturing Systems, North-Holland, The Netherlands, 1993, pp.

515–520.

[11] M. Takahashi, I. Hayashi, N. Iwatsuki, K. Suzumori, and N. Ohki, “The development of an in-pipe microrobot applying the motion of an earthworm,” in Proc. IEEE 5th Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1994, pp. 35–40. [12] S. Iwashita, I. Hayashi, N. Iwatsuki, and K. Nakamura, “Development of in-pipe operation micro robots,” in Proc. IEEE 5th Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1994, pp. 41–45. [13] T. Ito, Y. Hasegawa, K. Ito, and M. Okamura, “Ultra-miniature elec- tromagnetic motor,” in Proc. IEEE 3rd Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1992, pp. 27–33. [14] K. Hori and A. Sato, “Micro-planetary reduction gear,” in Proc. IEEE 2nd Int. Symp. Micro Machine and Human Sciences, 1991, pp. 53–60. [15] Segawa et al., “A micro miniaturized CCD color camera utilizing a newly developed CCD packaging technique,” IEEE Trans. Consumer Electron., vol. 41, pp. 946–953, June 1995. [16] K. Suzumori, S. Iikura, and H. Tanaka, “Flexible microactuator for miniature robots,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Workshop Micro Electro Mechan- ical Systems (MEMS), Jan. 1991, pp. 204–209. [17] K. Suzumori, K. Hori, and T. Miyagawa, “A direct-drive pneumatic stepping motor for robots: Designs for pipe-inspection microrobots and for human-care robots,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation, May 1998, pp. 3047–3052.

Conf. Robotics and Automation , May 1998, pp. 3047–3052. Koichi Suzumori (M’97) was born in Kanazawa,
Conf. Robotics and Automation , May 1998, pp. 3047–3052. Koichi Suzumori (M’97) was born in Kanazawa,

Koichi Suzumori (M’97) was born in Kanazawa, Japan, in 1959. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan, in 1982, 1984, and 1990, respectively. He is a Research Scientist in the Mechanical Systems Laboratory, Research and Development Center, Toshiba Corporation, Kawasaki, Japan. He has been with Toshiba Corporation since 1984. His research interests include actuators, sensors, microrobots, and electro-pneumatic devices.

Toyomi Miyagawa was born in Nagano, Japan, in 1960. He received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, in 1985. He is currently a Research Scientist in the Me- chanical Systems Laboratory, Research and De- velopment Center, Toshiba Corporation, Kawasaki, Japan. He has been with Toshiba Corporation since 1985. His research interests include actuators, sen- sors, and microrobots.

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292 IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999 Masanobu Kimura was born in

IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 4, NO. 3, SEPTEMBER 1999

Masanobu Kimura was born in Kanagawa, Japan, in 1949. He graduated from Oomori Technical Col- lege, Tokyo, Japan, in 1968. He is currently with the Multi Media Engineering Laboratory, Toshiba Corporation, Yokohama, Japan. He joined the Toshiba Corporation in April 1969 and worked in the Broadcasting Equipment Division, where he was engaged in the development of a single-tube color television camera and solid-state color video cameras.

color television camera and solid-state color video cameras. Yukihisa Hasegawa was born in Aichi, Japan, in

Yukihisa Hasegawa was born in Aichi, Japan, in 1963. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Gifu University, Gifu, Japan, in 1986 and 1988, respectively. He is currently a Research Scientist in the Small Motor Development Center, Manufacturing Engineering Research Center, Toshiba Corporation, Yokohama, Japan. He has been with Toshiba Corporation since 1988. His research interests include actuators, microrobots, and motor-driving method.