Tomonori Kato

Title Introduction of Research on Pneumatic Components - Active Control of Air Spring for Rail Train, A New Soft Actuator Driven by Gas-Liquid Phase-Change of Fluorocarbon, Rotation Control of Air Turbine Spindle for Milling

The speaker and his group explore the application of pneumatic control technology to such related fields of robotics, vibration control and ultra-precision machining. Among them, in this invited talk, research on following themes will be introduced.

  1. Active control of air spring for rail train The air spring for railway vehicle is usually passively controlled using a leveling (height control) valve with a sub tank to suppress the vibration of vertical direction. There are demands to reduce the space and to improve the controllability of the air spring for rail trains. In this research, the vibration of an air spring for railway vehicle is actively controlled by a pneumatic servo system. The speaker and his group proposed an active control method using an acceleration sensor, a relative displacement sensor, a laminar type flow sensor having high dynamic characteristics and a spool type servo valve. The flow sensor was used for linearization of the spool type servo valve. The proposed method was applied to a real air spring for railway vehicle having a mass of 800[kg]. The experiments were carried out for several frequencies especially at near the resonance frequencies and for several amplitudes of sinusoidal vibration given by a hydraulic driven vibration exciter. The results were compared with that of the passive control. The effectiveness of the proposed method was confirmed experimentally.
  2. A new soft actuator driven by gas-liquid phase-change of fluorocarbon The goal of this research is to improve the dynamic characteristics of a manipulator composed of pneumatic artificial rubber muscles driven by gas-liquid phase change. Pneumatic actuators, such as pneumatic artificial rubber muscle (PARM) or rubber bellows, have been widely used in many industrial and research fields. They have merits of being compact and lightweight. However, the large size of the compressor driving the actuator is a problem. To overcome this, the speaker and his group researched soft actuators driven by the gas-liquid phase change (GLPC) of fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon (C5F11NO) is a substance with a relatively low boiling point (50 °C) and a low heat of evaporation (104.65 kJ/kg). The heat of evaporation of water is 2260 kJ/kg. This paper presents the overview of an actuator driven by GLPC. Then, fabrication of a manipulator using the GLPC driven PARM, and details of experiments conducted to determine manipulator characteristics are given. To improve the dynamic characteristics of the manipulator, a force control method using the antagonistic drive of two PARMs is proposed, and experiments are conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
  3. Rotation Control of Air Turbine Spindle for Milling The speaker and his group investigated a disturbance-compensating and energy-saving control method for air turbine spindles equipped with a rotation control system designed for use in ultra-precision milling. The controllability and energy-conserving characteristics of the proposed method using the developed pneumatic regulating device, called a high-precision quick-response pneumatic pressure regulator, were demonstrated experimentally. Then, the proposed rotation-controlled air turbine spindle was set to a milling machine and applied to the milling of an alloy tool steel, to gain data and validate the effectiveness of the in-process tool wear estimation method that have been proposed by the speaker



Tomonori Kato is an associate professor of the Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Fukuoka Institute of Technology, Japan. Prior to joining FIT in April 2010, he spent 6 years at Tokyo Metropolitan College of Technology as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his D.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2007 and 2004 respectively, and B.Eng. degree from Niigata University in 2002. He is registered as a Professional Engineer by the Japanese Government (P.E. Jp) in Mechanical Engineering in 2007. From April 2018 to March 2019, he was an associate at the University of Nottingham, UK. His research interests include Robotics, Actuators, control engineering, precision engineering and pneumatics. He is a member of JSME, JSPE, SICE, JFPS and IPEJ. He has won the following awards.

  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology, 2019
  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology, 2018
  • Best Paper Award, The Japan Fluid Power System Society, 2017
  • Young Researcher Award, JSPS International Conference on Positioning Technology, 2014
  • Excellent Paper Award, Fluid Power Technology Promotion Foundation, 2012
  • SMC Prize, The Japan Fluid Power System Society, 2012
  • Outstanding Paper Award, JFPS International Symposium on Fluid Power, 2008
  • Best Paper Hasunuma Award, the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers, 2007.