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Proceedings Paper

Tactile display with dielectric multilayer elastomer actuatorsq
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Paper Abstract

Tactile perception is the human sensation of surface textures through the vibrations generated by stroking a finger over the surface. The skin responds to several distributed physical quantities. Perhaps the most important are high-frequency vibrations, pressure distributions (static shape) and thermal properties. The integration of tactile displays in man-machine interfaces promises a more intuitive handling. For this reason many tactile displays are developed using different technologies. We present several state-of-the-art tactile displays based on different types of dielectric elastomer actuators to clarify the advantages of our matrix display based on multilayer technology. Using this technology perpendicular and hexagonal arrays of actuator elements (tactile stimulators) can be integrated into a PDMS substrate. Element diameters down to 1 mm allow stimuli at the range of the human two-point-discrimination threshold. Driving the elements by column and row addressing enables various stimulation patterns with a reduced number of feeding lines. The transient analysis determines charging times of the capacitive actuators depending on actuator geometry and material parameters. This is very important to ensure an adequate dynamic characteristic of the actuators to stimulate the human skin by vibrations. The suitability of multilayer dielectric elastomer actuators for actuation in tactile displays has been determined. Beside the realization of a static tactile display - where multilayer DEA are integrated as drives for movable contact pins - we focus on the direct use of DEA as a vibrotactile display. Finally, we present the scenario and achieved results of a recognition threshold test. Even relative low voltages in the range of 800 V generate vibrations with 100% recognition ratio within the group of participants. Furthermore, the frequency dependent characteristic of the determined recognition threshold confirms with established literature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72871D (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819217
Show Author Affiliations
Marc Matysek, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Peter Lotz, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)
Helmut F. Schlaak, Technische Univ. Darmstadt (Germany)


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

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