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22 January 2005 Biologically inspired technologies using artificial muscles
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After billions of years of evolution, nature developed inventions that work, which are appropriate for the intended tasks and that last. The evolution of nature led to the introduction of highly effective and power efficient biological mechanisms that are scalable from micron to many meters in size. Imitating these mechanisms offers enormous potentials for the improvement of our life and the tools we use. Humans have always made efforts to imitate nature and we are increasingly reaching levels of advancement where it becomes significantly easier to imitate, copy, and adapt biological methods, processes and systems. Some of the biomimetic technologies that have emerged include artificial muscles, artificial intelligence, and artificial vision to which significant advances in materials science, mechanics, electronics, and computer science have contributed greatly. One of the newest fields of biomimetics is the electroactive polymers (EAP) that are also known as artificial muscles. To take advantage of these materials, efforts are made worldwide to establish a strong infrastructure addressing the need for comprehensive analytical modeling of their operation mechanism and develop effective processing and characterization techniques. The field is still in its emerging state and robust materials are not readily available however in recent years significant progress has been made and commercial products have already started to appear. This paper covers the state-of-the-art and challenges to making artificial muscles and their potential biomimetic applications.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yoseph Bar-Cohen "Biologically inspired technologies using artificial muscles", Proc. SPIE 5715, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology X, (22 January 2005);


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