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28 March 2011 Combined driving and sensing circuitry for dielectric elastomer actuators in mobile applications
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Dielectric elastomer stack actuators (DESA) promise breakthrough functionality in user interfaces by enabling freely programmable surfaces with various shapes. Besides the fundamental advantages of this technology, like comparatively low energy consumption, it is well known that these actuators can be used as sensors simultaneously. The work we present in this paper is focused on the implementation of a DEA-based tactile display into a mobile device. The generation of the driving voltage of up to 1.1 kV out of a common rechargeable battery and the implementation of the sensor functionality are the most challenging tasks. To realize a large range of tactile experiences, both static and dynamic driving voltages are required. We present a structure combining different step-up topologies to realize the driving unit. The final circuitry complies with typical requirements for mobile devices, like small size, low weight, high efficiency and low costs. The sensing functionality has to be realized for different actuator elements regardless of their actual state. An additional sensing layer on top or within the actuators would cause a higher fabrication effort and additional interconnections. Therefore, we developed a high voltage compatible sensing system. The circuitry allows sensing of user input at every actuator element. Both circuits are implemented into a handheld-like device.
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Marc Matysek, Henry Haus, Holger Moessinger, Dirk Brokken, Peter Lotz, and Helmut F. Schlaak "Combined driving and sensing circuitry for dielectric elastomer actuators in mobile applications", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 797612 (28 March 2011);

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