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Proceedings Paper

Flexible low-mass robotic arm actuated by electroactive polymers
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen; T. Xue; Mohsen Shahinpoor; Joycelyn S. Harrison; Joseph G. Smith
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Paper Abstract

Miniature, lightweight, low-cost actuators that consume low- power can be used to develop unmatched robotic devices to make an impact on many technology areas. Electroactive polymers (EAP) actuators offer the potential to produce such devices and they induce relatively large bending and longitudinal actuation strains. This reported study is concentrating on the development of effective EAPs and the resultant enabling mechanisms employing their unique characteristics. Several EAP driven mechanisms, which emulate human hand, were developed including a gripper, manipulator arm and surface wiper. The manipulator arm was made of a composite rod with a lifting actuator consisting of a scrolled rope that is activated longitudinally by an electrostatic field. A gripper was made to serve as an end effector and it consisted of multiple bending EAP fingers for grabbing and holding such objects as rocks. An EAP surface wiper was developed to operate like a human finger and to demonstrate the potential to remove dust from optical and IR windows as well as solar cells. These EAP driven devices are taking advantage of the large actuation displacement of these materials for applications that have limited requirement for actuation force capability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 1998
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3329, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (27 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316938
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
T. Xue, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mohsen Shahinpoor, Univ. of New Mexico (United States)
Joycelyn S. Harrison, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Joseph G. Smith, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3329:
Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Mark E. Regelbrugge, Editor(s)

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