Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1783.1/83954

Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Soft Wave-Handling Systems

Authors Wang, Tao
Zhang, Jinhua
Hong, Jun
Wang, Michael Yu View this author's profile
Issue Date 2017
Source Soft Robotics , v. 4, (1), March 2017, p. 61-69
Summary This article presents a soft handling system inspired by the principle of the natural wave (named Wave-Handling system) aiming to offer a soft solution to delicately transport and sort fragile items such as fruits, vegetables, biological tissues in food, and biological industries. The system consists of an array of hydrostatically coupled dielectric elastomer actuators (HCDEAs). Due to the electrostriction property of dielectric elastomers, the handling system can be controlled by electric voltage rather than the cumbersome pneumatic system. To study the working performance of the Wave-Handling system and how the performance can be improved, the basic properties of HCDEA are investigated through experiments. We find that the HCDEA exhibits some delay and hysteretic characteristics when activated by periodic voltage and the characteristics are influenced by the frequency and external force also. All this will affect the performance of the Wave-Handling system. However, the electric control, simple structure, light weight, and low cost of the soft handling system show great potential to move from laboratory to practical application. As a proof of design concept, a simply made prototype of the handling system is controlled to generate a parallel moving wave to manipulate a ball. Based on the experimental results, the improvements and future work are discussed and we believe this work will provide inspiration for soft robotic engineering.
Subjects
ISSN 2169-5172
Language English
Format Article
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