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6 May 2005 Bending response of an artificial muscle in high-pressure water environments
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Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs) are soft actuators, generally referred to as "artificial muscles" which are made out of high polymer gel films of perfluorosulfonic acid chemically plated with gold. These composites bend by applying a low voltage between electrodes on both sides. The actuator is soft and works in water. It bends silently, responds quickly and has a long life. In our previous work, snake-like swimming robots and a 3DOF 2-D manipulator have been developed. In this research we have investigated the bending response of an IPMC artificial muscle in high-pressure water environments, with future applications in deep-sea actuators and robots. The artificial muscles have an advantage over electric motors because they do not need sealing from water, which is difficult in high-pressure water environments. Bending responses of artificial muscles were measured at three different pressure levels, 30MPa, 70MPa and 100MPa. The maximum pressure, 100MPa is the same pressure as the deepest ocean on earth, (10,000m.) From experiments, there was found to be almost no difference with that at normal water pressure of 1Pa. We present detailed results of responses of these artificial muscles including current responses and videos of bending motion with respect to combinations of several different input voltages, frequencies and wave patterns.
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Yoshihiro Nakabo, Kentaro Takagi, Toshiharu Mukai, Hiroshi Yoshida, and Kinji Asaka "Bending response of an artificial muscle in high-pressure water environments", Proc. SPIE 5759, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (6 May 2005);

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