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Proceedings Paper

Artificial vibrissae DEA-based module
Author(s): Tareq Assaf; Andrew Conn; Jonathan Rossiter; Peter Walters; Martin Pearson
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Paper Abstract

The article presents a working whisker structure based on dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs). This preliminary work aims to exploit the features of the dielectric elastomer technology for use in an effective and reliable robotic application whilst accommodating the limitations of this emerging actuation technique. To this end, a modular design and structure have been conceived to simplify the building and repair process of the critical components such as the connectors, wiring, sensors and DEA membranes. This design represents the engineering and scaling of the concepts and techniques developed in previous work, and to overcome identified technical and methodological constraints that previously prohibited extensive real applications. The structure is realised as a trade-off between the unique characteristics of the DEA technology and the robotic development issues. Safety, robustness, production time and key aspects of robotic design are taken into account in the development of this prototype. The results presented show how this structure addresses the design requirement and technical constraints previously identified. The active whisking range achieved is ±14 degrees, measured using image processing of videos captured by both standard and high speed cameras. This metric will be used as one of the measures for planned improvements that are discussed in addition to the advantages and limitations of the structure and the design decisions made.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 90562O (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044763
Show Author Affiliations
Tareq Assaf, Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)
Andrew Conn, Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)
Jonathan Rossiter, Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)
Peter Walters, Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)
Martin Pearson, Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9056:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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