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Proceedings Paper

Mechanical characterization of artificial muscles with computer vision
Author(s): R. Verdu; Juan Morales-Sanchez; Antonio Jesus Fernandez-Romero; M. T. Cortes; Toribio Fernandez Otero; Luis Weruaga-Prieto
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Paper Abstract

Conducting polymers are new materials that were developed in the late 1970s as intrinsically electronic conductors at the molecular level. The presence of polymer, solvent, and ionic components reminds one of the composition of the materials chosen by nature to produce muscles, neurons, and skin in living creatures. The ability to transform electrical energy into mechanical energy through an electrochemical reaction, promoting film swelling and shrinking during oxidation or reduction, respectively, produces a macroscopic change in its volume. On specially designed bi-layer polymeric stripes this conformational change gives rise to stripe curl and bending, where the position or angle of the free end of the polymeric stripe is directly related to the degree of oxidation, or charged consumed. Study of these curvature variations has been currently performed only in a manual basis. In this paper we propose a preliminary study of the polymeric muscle electromechanical properties by using a computer vision system. The vision system required is simple: it is composed of cameras for tracking the muscle from different angles and special algorithms, based on active contours, to analyse the deformable motion. Graphical results support the validity of this approach, which opens the way for performing automatic testing on artificial muscles with commercial purposes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475172
Show Author Affiliations
R. Verdu, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Juan Morales-Sanchez, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Antonio Jesus Fernandez-Romero, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)
M. T. Cortes, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Toribio Fernandez Otero, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)
Luis Weruaga-Prieto, Univ. Politecnica de Cartagena (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4695:
Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD)
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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