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Proceedings Paper

Soft shape-adaptive gripping device made from artificial muscle
Author(s): E. Hamburg; V. Vunder; U. Johanson; F. Kaasik; A. Aabloo
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Paper Abstract

We report on a multifunctional four-finger gripper for soft robotics, suitable for performing delicate manipulation tasks. The gripping device is comprised of separately driven gripping and lifting mechanisms, both made from a separate single piece of smart material - ionic capacitive laminate (ICL) also known as artificial muscle. Compared to other similar devices the relatively high force output of the ICL material allows one to construct a device able to grab and lift objects exceeding multiple times its own weight. Due to flexible design of ICL grips, the device is able to adapt the complex shapes of different objects and allows grasping single or multiple objects simultaneously without damage. The performance of the gripper is evaluated in two different configurations: a) the ultimate grasping strength of the gripping hand; and b) the maximum lifting force of the lifting actuator. The ICL is composed of three main layers: a porous membrane consisting of non-ionic polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVdF-HFP), ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethane-sulfonate (EMITFS), and a reinforcing layer of woven fiberglass cloth. Both sides of the membrane are coated with a carbonaceous electrode. The electrodes are additionally covered with thin gold layers, serving as current collectors. Device made of this material operates silently, requires low driving voltage (<3 V), and is suitable for performing tasks in open air environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9798, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016, 97981Q (15 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219051
Show Author Affiliations
E. Hamburg, Univ. of Tartu (Estonia)
V. Vunder, Univ. of Tartu (Estonia)
U. Johanson, Univ. of Tartu (Estonia)
F. Kaasik, Univ. of Tartu (Estonia)
A. Aabloo, Univ. of Tartu (Estonia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9798:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2016
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Frédéric Vidal, Editor(s)

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