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Proceedings Paper

Microbial-powered artificial muscles for autonomous robots
Author(s): Ioannis Ieropoulos; Iain A. Anderson; Todd Gisby; Cheng-Hung Wang; Jonathan Rossiter
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Paper Abstract

We consider the embodiment of a microbial fuel cell using artificial muscle actuators. The microbial fuel cell digests organic matter and generates electricity. This energy is stored in a capacitor bank until it is discharged to power one of two complimentary artificial muscle technologies: the dielectric elastomer actuator and the ionic-polymer metal composite. We study the ability of the fuel cell to generate useful actuation and consider appropriate configurations to maximally exploit both of these artificial muscle technologies. A prototype artificial sphincter is implemented using a dielectric elastomer actuator. Stirrer and cilia mechanisms motivate experimentation using ionic polymer metal composite actuators. The ability of the fuel cell to drive both of these technologies opens up new possibilities for truly biomimetic soft artificial robotic organisms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 728708 (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.817059
Show Author Affiliations
Ioannis Ieropoulos, Univ. of the West of England (United Kingdom)
Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Iain A. Anderson, Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Todd Gisby, Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Cheng-Hung Wang, Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Jonathan Rossiter, Univ. of the West of England (United Kingdom)
Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7287:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Thomas Wallmersperger, Editor(s)

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