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9 July 2002 Multifunctional electroelastomer rolls and their application for biomimetic walking robots
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Electroelastomers (also called dielectric elastomer artificial muscles) have been shown to exhibit excellent performance in a variety of actuator configurations, but making a compact, free-standing, muscle-like actuator capable of obtaining good performance has been a challenge. By rolling highly prestrained electroelastomer films around a compression spring, we have demonstrated Multifunctional Electroelastomer Rolls (MERs) that combine load bearing, actuation, and sensing functions. The MER spring rolls are compact, have a potentially high electroelastomer-to-structure weight ratio, and can be configured to actuate in several ways, including axial extension, bending, and as multiple degree-of-freedom actuators that combine both extension and bending. One degree-of-freedom (1-DOF), 2-DOF, and 3-DOF MERs have all been demonstrated through suitable electrode patterning on a single monolithic substrate. A 1-DOF MER with 9.6 g weight, 12 mm diameter, and 65 mm total length can deliver up to 15 N force and 12 mm stroke. Its capacitance is around 13 nF and changes linearly with strain during axial tension or compression. The MERs are useful in a number of applications where compact and high-stroke actuation is required. The applications as artificial muscles are particularly appealing, as multifunctionality prevails in natural muscles.
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Qibing Pei, Ron Pelrine, Scott Stanford, Roy D. Kornbluh, Marc S. Rosenthal, Kenneth Meijer, and Robert J. Full "Multifunctional electroelastomer rolls and their application for biomimetic walking robots", Proc. SPIE 4698, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (9 July 2002);

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