Festo Canada is an international force in piezo valve technology, which the Japanese robotics manufacturer Tmsuk has incorporated into a breakthrough product: the Pedia Roid dental simulation robot. This humanoid robot realistically imitates young children’s behaviour, particularly fidgeting, squirming, flinching, teeth clenching, and other mannerisms with which dentists and dental assistants will have to cope. The Pedia Roid will help dental students anticipate those reactions and manage the situations with compassion.
Proportional valves for movement control
Unlike other Tmsuk robots, which are equipped with electric axes, the Pedia Roid is pneumatically actuated. Students and trainees often must hold the robotic dummy’s limbs during treatment, which could damage the gear units and spindles of electric drives. Pneumatic technology is more flexible and robust.
The Pedia Roid is a lifelike representation of a five-year-old, measuring 1.1 metres tall and weighing 23 kilograms, with smooth, realistic movements produced with Festo proportional pressure regulators with piezo technology. The VEAA and VEAB regulators make this possible by controlling most of the robot’s 24 pneumatic cylinders, which move arms, legs, fingers, eyelids, irises, and the mouth. These units make no clicking sounds when they switch, as the bender actuator moves freely without impact noise.
The VEAA and VEAB are 3/3-way valves that each combine a pressure sensor with electronic controls. With its capacitive capability, piezo valve technology by Festo needs minimal energy to maintain an active state. These valves operate like capacitors, as they require energy merely to charge the piezo ceramics, and maintaining that state requires no additional energy. Therefore, the valves do not heat up; they consume up to 95 per cent less energy than solenoid valves do, and the latter need uninterrupted electrical current.
Festo valve technology provides long operational life and a small footprint. These valves are designed to resist wear for a high cycle lifespan and are perfect for pressure regulation in cylinders for low air-consumption applications, as well as applications like the Pedia Roid, which needs a high dynamic response. The compact design of the VEAA and VEAB blends space-saving installation with low intrinsic weight.
To learn more, contact Festo.