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Proceedings Paper

Transition of EAP material from novelty to practical applications: are we there yet?
Author(s): Yoseph Bar-Cohen
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Paper Abstract

For many years, EAPs received relatively little attention due to their limited actuation capability and the small number of available materials. In the last ten years, new EAP materials have emerged that exhibit large displacement response to electrical stimulation and they are enabling great potentials for the field. EAP are very attractive for their operational similarity to biological muscles, particularly their resilience, damage tolerant, and ability to induce large actuation strains. The application of these materials as actuators to drive various manipulation, mobility and robotic devices involves multidiscipline including materials, chemistry, electro-mechanics, computers, electronics, etc. Even though the force actuation of existing EAP materials and their robustness require further improvement, there has already been a series of reported successes. The successful devices that were reported include miniature manipulation devices including catheter reported successes. The successful devices that were reported include miniature manipulation devices including catheter steering element, miniature manipulator, dust-wiper, miniature robotic arm, grippers and others. Some of the currently considered applications may be difficult to accomplish and it is important to scope the requirements to the level that current materials can address. Using EAP to replace existing actuators may be a difficult challenge and therefore it is highly desirable to identify a niche application where it would not need to compete with existing capabilities. This paper will review the current efforts and the expectations for the future.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2001
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4329, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices, (16 July 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.432639
Show Author Affiliations
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4329:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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