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8 March 2014 Colour gamuts in polychromatic dielectric elastomer artificial chromatophores
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Chromatophores are the colour changing organelles in the skins of animals including fish and cephalopods. The ability of cephalopods in particular to rapidly change their colouration in response to environmental changes, for example to camouflage against a new background, and in social situations, for example to attract a mate or repel a rival, is extremely attractive for engineering, medical, active clothing and biomimetic robotic applications. The rapid response of these chromatophores is possible by the direct coupling of fast acting muscle and pigmented saccules. In artificial chromatophores we are able to mimic this structure using electroactive polymer artificial muscles. In contrast to prior research which has demonstrated monochromatic artificial chromatophores, here we consider a novel multi-colour, multi-layer, artificial chromatophore structure inspired by the complex dermal chromatophore unit in nature and which exploits dielectric elastomer artificial muscles as the electroactive actuation mechanism. We investigate the optical properties of this chromatophore unit and explore the range of colours and effects that a single unit and a matrix of chromatophores can produce. The colour gamut of the multi-colour chromatophore is analysed and shows its suitability for practical display and camouflage applications. It is demonstrated how, by varying actuator strain and chromatophore base colour, the gamut can be shifted through colour space, thereby tuning the artificial chromatophore to a specific environment or application.
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Jonathan Rossiter, Andrew Conn, Antonio Cerruto, Amy Winters, and Calum Roke "Colour gamuts in polychromatic dielectric elastomer artificial chromatophores", Proc. SPIE 9056, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2014, 905620 (8 March 2014);

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