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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Hayato Omori, Taro Nakamura and Takayuki Yada

An earthworm moves by peristaltic crawling which brings a large surface into contact during motions and requires less space than other mechanisms. A peristaltic crawling…

Abstract

Purpose

An earthworm moves by peristaltic crawling which brings a large surface into contact during motions and requires less space than other mechanisms. A peristaltic crawling is suitable for moving in excavated space by an anterior (front) of a robot. Therefore, a peristaltic crawling robot is useful for an underground explorer. The purpose of this paper is to develop a peristaltic crawling robot with several parallel links and compare with motion of an actual earthworm. Then we had some experiments on a plane surface and in a tube, and in vertical perforated dirt.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed robot, which consists of several parallel mechanisms, has four units for being controlled in 3‐DOF. A unit expands in a radial direction when it contracts to increase the friction between the unit and surroundings. Dustproof covering is attached for preventing dirt from getting inside units. Locomotion mechanism is as the same as an actual earthworm's peristaltic crawling. The robot makes an anterior unit contract, and then the contraction propagates towards the posterior (rear). Therefore, it requires no more space than that of an excavation part on the front of the robot.

Findings

It was found that three units of robot consists of several parallel mechanisms had wide range of manipulation; four units of robot moves with peristaltic crawling compared with motion of an actual earthworm. It was confirmed that the robot could turn on a plane surface and move upward and downward in a vertical pipe. Finally, the robot could move in vertical perforated dirt faster than in a pipe.

Originality/value

The robot is designed with several parallel links and equipped with dustproof covering. The locomotion of an actual earthworm is videotaped and analysed for comparing with the analysed movements of the robot. It was confirmed the robot could move with peristaltic crawling and turn on a plane surface. In addition, it was confirmed that some experiments were done in a narrow pipe and in vertical perforated dirt.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Taro Nakamura and Kuniaki Satoh

The snail moves by propagating traveling waves from tail to head. If it is possible to propagate a traveling wave in many directions, an omni‐directional mobile robot…

Abstract

Purpose

The snail moves by propagating traveling waves from tail to head. If it is possible to propagate a traveling wave in many directions, an omni‐directional mobile robot could be realized. The purpose of this paper is to develop an omni‐directional mobile robot using the locomotion mechanism of the snail and to study the basic properties of the robot.

Design/methodology/approach

A unit for mobile robot was developed to generate the traveling wave based on the snail. The omni‐directional mobile robot is composed of eight units arranged in a circular shape and each abutting unit is connected by a spring. The robot generates a traveling wave by elongation and contraction of the units and realizes an omni‐directional locomotion.

Findings

It was confirmed that the robot moves using the traveling wave locomotion. Furthermore, the locomotion experiment confirmed that the robot moved in the expected direction with reasonable accuracy.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new omni‐directional mobile mechanism using traveling wave based on a snail locomotion. Since the locomotion mechanism of the snail involves moving a larger area than is the case with other creatures, it is able to move not only on irregular ground such as swamps, but also on walls and ceilings. Hence, it is thought that this robot could be applied to the inspection of walls.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2015

Masashi Konno, Yutaka Mizota and Taro Nakamura

This paper aims to develop a wave-transmitting mechanism for a travelling-wave-type omnidirectional mobile robot. Existing omnidirectional mechanisms are prone to movement…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a wave-transmitting mechanism for a travelling-wave-type omnidirectional mobile robot. Existing omnidirectional mechanisms are prone to movement instability because they establish a small contact area with the ground. The authors have developed a novel omnidirectional mobile robot that achieves stable movement by a large ground-contact area. The proposed robot moves by a wave-transmitting mechanism designed for this purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve stable movement, a spiral-type travelling-wave-propagation mechanism that mimics the locomotion mechanism of a snail was developed. The mechanism was applied to an omnidirectional mobile robot.

Findings

The practicality of magnetic attraction was verified in experiments of the wave-transmitting mechanism. Moreover, omnidirectional movement was confirmed in a robot prototype adopting this mechanism.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed robot will eventually be deployed in human spaces such as factories and hospitals. A mechanically improved version of the robot will be evaluated in load-driving experiments and equipped with control systems.

Originality/value

This paper proposes an omnidirectional mobile robot with a large ground contact area that moves by continuous travelling waves. The practicability of this mechanism was experimentally confirmed, and a prototype robot achieved omnidirectional movement.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

George K. Stylios

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects…

Abstract

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects. Subjects discussed include cotton fabric processing, asbestos substitutes, textile adjuncts to cardiovascular surgery, wet textile processes, hand evaluation, nanotechnology, thermoplastic composites, robotic ironing, protective clothing (agricultural and industrial), ecological aspects of fibre properties – to name but a few! There would appear to be no limit to the future potential for textile applications.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2017

Riccardo Bellofiore and Scott Carter

Resurgent interest in the life and work of the Italian Cambridge economist Piero Sraffa is leading to New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship. This chapter introduces readers…

Abstract

Resurgent interest in the life and work of the Italian Cambridge economist Piero Sraffa is leading to New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship. This chapter introduces readers to some of these developments. First and perhaps foremost is the fact that as of September 2016 Sraffa’s archival material has been uploaded onto the website of the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge University, as digital colour images; this chapter introduces readers to the history of these events. This history provides sharp relief on the extant debates over the role of the archival material in leading to the final publication of Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and readers are provided a brief sketch of these matters. The varied nature of Sraffa scholarship is demonstrated by the different aspects of Sraffa’s intellectual legacy which are developed and discussed in the various entries of our Symposium. The conclusion is reached that we are on the cusp of an exciting phase change of tremendous potential in Sraffa scholarship.

Details

Including a Symposium on New Directions in Sraffa Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-539-9

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Book part
Publication date: 24 August 2005

Takao Takahashi

In order to design a Japanese approach to bioethics, it would be necessary to reflect on the history of bioethics in Japan. There are three major historic periods of…

Abstract

In order to design a Japanese approach to bioethics, it would be necessary to reflect on the history of bioethics in Japan. There are three major historic periods of bioethics in Japan. In the first period, medical law research in Japan started as early as bioethics research in the United States. In the second period (1980–1990) bioethics in Japan developed both its institutional structure and research production. Bioethical research by ethicists and philosophers was also launched in full swing. The third period (1990 to the present) can be characterized as highlighting genetics research and bioethical policies.

Details

Taking Life and Death Seriously - Bioethics from Japan
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-206-1

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2019

Antonella Samoggia, Aldo Bertazzoli and Arianna Ruggeri

Healthy food sales have increased in recent decades. Retailers are widening their marketing management approach, including the use of social media to communicate with…

Abstract

Purpose

Healthy food sales have increased in recent decades. Retailers are widening their marketing management approach, including the use of social media to communicate with consumers and to promote healthy food. The purpose of this paper is to investigate European retailers’ social media communication content used to promote healthy food products, by analysing retailers’ Twitter messages and accounts characteristics, retailers’ Twitter messages content on healthy food and retailers’ Twitter accounts orientation on healthy food.

Design/methodology/approach

Data include approximately 74,000 tweets sent in 2016 from 90 corporate and brand accounts. The tweets were sent by the top 36 European retailers. Data elaboration includes quantitative content analysis of Twitter messages, which is used to identify healthy food categories’ occurrences and co-occurrences. Then, multiple multivariate-linear regression analyses explore the relation between retailers’ characteristics and healthy food messaging and between the overall content of retailer accounts and a healthy food focus.

Findings

The vast majority of retailers’ tweets on healthy food issues mainly address general health and sustainability issues. Tweets about food health and nutrition refer to food types, meals or consumer segments. Tweets about food sustainability refer to general issues. Analysis of retailer accounts shows that the larger the retailer is, the lower the relevance of healthy food. Retailers with high numbers of tweets and followers tend to decrease their attention to healthy food promotion. Compared to retailers with lower revenues, retailers with higher revenues tend to send a higher number of tweets that focus on healthy food but the incidence is lower compared to the overall accounts’ messaging.

Research limitations/implications

As the study focuses on a single category of food products, further research into other categories of retail products may contribute to a wider perspective. Future research may include graphical content/emoticons and extend the analysis to other social media platforms. Finally, social media data allow studies to cover a wide geographical area. However, in order to also value non-English written messaging, this research introduces some approximations in language interpretation.

Practical implications

The research provides insights into how retailers use social media and provides an overview of how retailers manage their social media communication in one of the most promising food product categories. Retailers manage social media communication content cautiously to minimise controversial issues. This study provides insights into the need to more effectively target the increasing number of social media users.

Originality/value

The research approach and findings of this study extend prior research on retailers’ communication management by improving the understanding of retailers’ use of social media and marketing communication content for their key products, focusing on healthy food.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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