6 April 2009 Application of EAP materials toward a refreshable Braille display
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Abstract
The development of a multiline, refreshable Braille display will assist with the full inclusion and integration of blind people into society. The use of both polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film planar bending mode actuators and silicone dielectric elastomer cylindrical tube actuators have been investigated for their potential use in a Braille cell. A liftoff process that allows for aggressive scaling of miniature bimorph actuators has been developed using standard semiconductor lithography techniques. The PVDF bimorphs have been demonstrated to provide enough displacement to raise a Braille dot using biases less than 1000V and operating at 10Hz. In addition, silicone tube actuators have also been demonstrated to achieve the necessary displacement, though requiring higher voltages. The choice of electrodes and prestrain conditions aimed at maximizing axial strain in tube actuators are discussed. Characterization techniques measuring actuation displacement and blocking forces appropriate for standard Braille cell specifications are presented. Finally, the integration of these materials into novel cell designs and the fabrication of a prototype Braille cell are discussed.
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N. Di Spigna, P. Chakraborti, P. Yang, T. Ghosh, P. Franzon, "Application of EAP materials toward a refreshable Braille display", Proc. SPIE 7287, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2009, 72871K (6 April 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.816009; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.816009
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