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Proceedings Paper

Dielectric elastomer artificial muscle actuators: toward biomimetic motion
Author(s): Ron Pelrine; Roy D. Kornbluh; Qibing Pei; Scott Stanford; Seajin Oh; Joseph Eckerle; Robert J. Full; Marcus A. Rosenthal; Kenneth Meijer
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Paper Abstract

To achieve desirable biomimetic motion, actuators must be able to reproduce the important features of natural muscle such as power, stress, strain, speed of response, efficiency, and controllability. It is a mistake, however, to consider muscle as only an energy output device. Muscle is multifunctional. In locomotion, muscle often acts as an energy absorber, variable-stiffness suspension element, or position sensor, for example. Electroactive polymer technologies based on the electric-field-induced deformation of polymer dielectrics with compliant electrodes are particularly promising because they have demonstrated high strains and energy densities. Testing with experimental biological techniques and apparatus has confirmed that these dielectric elastomer artificial muscles can indeed reproduce several of the important characteristics of natural muscle. Several different artificial muscle actuator configurations have been tested, including flat actuators and tubular rolls. Rolls have been shown to act as structural elements and to incorporate position sensing. Biomimetic robot applications have been explored that exploit the muscle-like capabilities of the dielectric elastomer actuators, including serpentine manipulators, insect-like flapping-wing mechanisms, and insect-like walking robots.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 July 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.475157
Show Author Affiliations
Ron Pelrine, SRI International (United States)
Roy D. Kornbluh, SRI International (United States)
Qibing Pei, SRI International (United States)
Scott Stanford, SRI International (United States)
Seajin Oh, SRI International (United States)
Joseph Eckerle, SRI International (United States)
Robert J. Full, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
Marcus A. Rosenthal, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
Kenneth Meijer, Technical Univ. of Eindhoven (United States)

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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