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Proceedings Paper

Development of multilayer conducting polymer actuator for power application
Author(s): Kimiya Ikushima; Yuji Kudoh; Maki Hiraoka; Kazuo Yokoyama; Sachio Nagamitsu
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Paper Abstract

In late years many kinds of home-use robot have been developed to assist elderly care and housework. Most of these robots are designed with conventional electromagnetic motors. For safety it is desirable to replace these electromagnetic motors with artificial muscle. However, an actuator for such a robot is required to have simple structure, low driving voltage, high stress generation, high durability, and operability in the air. No polymer actuator satisfying all these requirements has been realized yet. To meet these we took following two approaches focusing on conducting polymer actuators which can output high power in the air. (Approach 1) We have newly developed an actuator by multiply laminating ionic liquid infiltrated separators and polypyrrole films. Compared with conventional actuator that is driven in a bath of ionic liquid, the new actuator can greatly increase generated stress since the total sectional area is tremendously small. In our experiment, the new actuator consists of minimum unit with thickness of 128um and has work/weight ratio of 0.92J/kg by laminating 9 units in 0.5Hz driving condition. In addition, the driving experiment has shown a stable driving characteristic even for 10,000 cycles durability test. Furthermore, from our design consideration, it has been found that the work/weight ratio can be improved up to 8J/kg (1/8 of mammalian muscle of 64J/kg) in 0.1Hz by reducing the thickness of each unit to 30um. (Approach 2) In order to realize a simplified actuator structure in the air without sealing, we propose the use of ionic liquid gel. The actuation characteristic of suggested multilayered actuator using ionic liquid gel is simulated by computer. The result shows that performance degradation due to the use of ionic liquid gel is negligible small when ionic liquid gel with the elasticity of 3kPa or less is used. From above two results it is concluded that the proposed multilayerd actuator is promising for the future robotic applications because it has advantages of high work/weight ratio and in-the-air operation, in addition to advantages of conventional polymer actuators.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 April 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 728720 (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815429
Show Author Affiliations
Kimiya Ikushima, Panasonic Corp. (Japan)
Yuji Kudoh, Panasonic Corp. (Japan)
Maki Hiraoka, Panasonic Corp. (Japan)
Kazuo Yokoyama, Panasonic Corp. (Japan)
Sachio Nagamitsu, Panasonic Corp. (Japan)

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

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