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6 April 2009 Dielectric elastomer actuators with hydrostatic coupling
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The rapidly growing adoption of dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators as a high performance EAP technology for many kinds of new applications continuously opens new technical challenges, in order to take always the most from each adopted device and actuating configuration. This paper presents a new type of DE actuators, which show attractive potentialities for specific application needs. The concept here proposed adopts an incompressible fluid to mechanically couple active and passive parts. The active parts work according to the DE actuation principle, while the passive parts represent the end effector, in contact with the load. The fluid is used to transfer actuation hydrostatically from an active to a passive part and, then, to the load. This can provide specific advantages, including improved safety and less stringent design constraints for the architecture of the actuator, especially for soft end effectors. Such a simple concept can be readily implemented according to different shapes and intended functionalities of the resulting actuators. The paper describes the structure and the performance of the first prototype devices developed so far.
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Federico Carpi, Gabriele Frediani, and Danilo De Rossi "Dielectric elastomer actuators with hydrostatic coupling", Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72870D (6 April 2009);

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