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Proceedings Paper

Elastic actuation for legged locomotion
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Paper Abstract

The inherent elasticity of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) gives this technology great potential in energy efficient locomotion applications. In this work, a modular double cone DEA is developed with reduced manufacturing and maintenance time costs. This actuator can lift 45 g of mass (5 times its own weight) while producing a stroke of 10.4 mm (23.6% its height). The contribution of the elastic energy stored in antagonistic DEA membranes to the mechanical work output is experimentally investigated by adding delay into the DEA driving voltage. Increasing the delay time in actuation voltage and hence reducing the duty cycle is found to increase the amount of elastic energy being recovered but an upper limit is also noticed. The DEA is then applied to a three-segment leg that is able to move up and down by 17.9 mm (9% its initial height), which demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing this DEA design in legged locomotion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 April 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 101632W (17 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2259776
Show Author Affiliations
Chongjing Cao, Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)
Andrew Conn, Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Bristol Robotics Lab. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10163:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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