Actuators, which move and manipulate objects, are the key technological components for all modern science and technologies. The advent of new, outstanding actuators will bring innovation to a range of different areas ? such as basic science, industry, medicine, welfare, and the global environment ? and in this way will provide us with a better quality of life. Next-Generation Actuators Leading Breakthroughs is the proceedings of the final symposium of MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas: Next-Generation Actuators Leading Breakthroughs, held in January 2010. This project pursues the realization of next-generation actuators and accumulates the common basic technologies for actuators, with a view to possible future applications. Since the realization of next-generation actuators requires an interdisciplinary approach, the research has been organized according to a broad technological perspective that consists of: actuators for small motion of nano-meters; small-size actuators of micro-meters structures; intelligent actuators for functional motions; power actuators for large force/torque; and actuators for special environments. Next-Generation Actuators Leading Breakthroughs also deals with common fundamental technologies for these actuators, such as intelligent materials, machining processes, control technologies, evaluation methods, and system integration. It provides cutting-edge research for researchers, postgraduates, and practitioners in mechanical, electrical, and materials industries.
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