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Proceedings Paper

A road to practical dielectric elastomer actuators based robotics and mechatronics: discrete actuation
Author(s): Jean-Sébastien Plante; Lauren M. Devita; Steven Dubowsky
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Paper Abstract

Fundamental studies of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators (DEAs) using viscoelastic materials such as VHB 4905/4910 from 3M showed significant advantages at high stretch rates. The film's viscous forces increase actuator life and the short power-on times minimize energy losses through current leakage. This paper presents a design paradigm that exploits these fundamental properties of DEAs called discrete actuation. Discrete actuation uses DEAs at high stretch rates to change the states of robotic or mechatronic systems in discrete steps. Each state of the system is stable and can be maintained without actuator power. Discrete actuation can be used in robotic and mechatronic applications such as manipulation and locomotion. The resolution of such systems increases with the number of discrete states, 10 to 100 being sufficient for many applications. An MRI-guided needle positioning device for cancer treatments and a space exploration robot using hopping for locomotion are presented as examples of this concept.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 2007
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6524, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007, 652406 (4 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715236
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Sébastien Plante, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Lauren M. Devita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Steven Dubowsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6524:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2007
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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