Depending on the electrode material and on the cations, the electrolysis of water starts at significantly higher voltages than the standard potential of the water electrolysis cell, which is 1.23V. We present the simple methodic of determining the "safe" voltage of aqueous IPMCs below what there is no water electrolysis, with the corresponding quantitative data. Higher voltages applied to IPMC cause irreversible formation of platinum oxides and absorption of hydrogen on the platinum electrodes that can change the mechanism of water electrolysis and decrease the minim required voltage of water electrolysis even below the 1.23V.
We report on a multifunctional four-finger gripper for soft robotics, suitable for performing delicate manipulation tasks. The gripping device is comprised of separately driven gripping and lifting mechanisms, both made from a separate single piece of smart material - ionic capacitive laminate (ICL) also known as artificial muscle. Compared to other similar devices the relatively high force output of the ICL material allows one to construct a device able to grab and lift objects exceeding multiple times its own weight. Due to flexible design of ICL grips, the device is able to adapt the complex shapes of different objects and allows grasping single or multiple objects simultaneously without damage. The performance of the gripper is evaluated in two different configurations: a) the ultimate grasping strength of the gripping hand; and b) the maximum lifting force of the lifting actuator. The ICL is composed of three main layers: a porous membrane consisting of non-ionic polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVdF-HFP), ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethane-sulfonate (EMITFS), and a reinforcing layer of woven fiberglass cloth. Both sides of the membrane are coated with a carbonaceous electrode. The electrodes are additionally covered with thin gold layers, serving as current collectors. Device made of this material operates silently, requires low driving voltage (<3 V), and is suitable for performing tasks in open air environment.