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Proceedings Paper

Opportunities of hydrostatically coupled dielectric elastomer actuators for haptic interfaces
Author(s): Federico Carpi; Gabriele Frediani; Danilo De Rossi
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Paper Abstract

As a means to improve versatility and safety of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) for several fields of application, so-called 'hydrostatically coupled' DEAs (HC-DEAs) have recently been described. HC-DEAs are based on an incompressible fluid that mechanically couples a DE-based active part to a passive part interfaced to the load, so as to enable hydrostatic transmission. This paper presents ongoing developments of HC-DEAs and potential applications in the field of haptics. Three specific examples are considered. The first deals with a wearable tactile display used to provide users with tactile feedback during electronic navigation in virtual environments. The display consists of HCDEAs arranged in contact with finger tips. As a second example, an up-scaled prototype version of an 8-dots refreshable cell for dynamic Braille displays is shown. Each Braille dot consists of a miniature HC-DEA, with a diameter lower than 2 mm. The third example refers to a device for finger rehabilitation, conceived to work as a sort of active version of a rehabilitation squeezing ball. The device is designed to dynamically change its compliance according to an electric control. The three examples of applications intend to show the potential of the new technology and the prospective opportunities for haptic interfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 797618 (28 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880042
Show Author Affiliations
Federico Carpi, Univ. of Pisa (Italy)
Technology & Life Institute (Italy)
Gabriele Frediani, Univ. of Pisa (Italy)
Danilo De Rossi, Univ. of Pisa (Italy)
Technology & Life Institute (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7976:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011
Yoseph Bar-Cohen; Federico Carpi, Editor(s)

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