Dielectric elastomers (DEs) stand out among various soft actuators for their exceptionally fast response and large actuation. A dielectric elastomer can emerge out-of-plane vibration under alternating voltage and change its resonance frequency by adjusting the direct voltage. In this paper, the emerging conditions of the out-of-plane vibration of dielectric elastomer resonator (DER) are obtained by changing the pre-stretch, electrode area and the amplitude of the voltage. Sweep frequency tests are conducted to obtain the resonance frequency of DER, and the modals of the vibration are also obtained by experimental measurements. The nonlinearity vibration phenomenon which appears along with the increase of the amplitude of voltage is analyzed. The resonance mechanism of DER has a high energy exchange efficiency, which has a potential application in soft robot.
This paper presents the design, fabrication, and testing of a novel 6 legged terrestrial walking robot inspired by the movements of an ant, while the ionic polymer-metal composite(IPMC) is used as the leg actuators. This terrestrial walking robot (size: 34 mm × 20mm ×28 mm, weight: 2.43g) is able to move in open air independently. The legs of the robot are made of a spatial two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) IPMC actuator structure which shows great characteristics in movement and load-carrying capability. The different dimension of the IPMC actuator and the parameters of the leg structure are tested and optimized to cater the demand of different part of the leg structures. The robot is controlled by a microprocessor, an on-board lithium battery is used as the power and the square wave signal is employed to drive the 6 independent leg structures.
In this paper, we present the preparation of a novel elastomeric electrode and characterize its properties. Meanwhile, a casting process is developed to manufacture multilayer dielectric elastomer actuator, which based on silicone material and elastomeric electrode. This process casts every layer by a casting coater, and the formed thickness was adjustable. Besides, the casting process makes it possible to make complex electrode geometries in the millimeter scale. At last, the experiment results demonstrate that the multilayer DEA manufactured by this process enjoys the advantage of homogenous and reproducible properties as well as no performance degradation after one-year use.