Next Article in Journal
Design and Characterization of a High-Precision Digital Electromagnetic Actuator with Four Discrete Positions
Next Article in Special Issue
Hybrid Multi-Physics Modeling of an Ultra-Fast Electro-Mechanical Actuator
Previous Article in Journal
Design and Comparative Analysis of a Retrofitted Liquid Cooling System for High-Power Actuators
Previous Article in Special Issue
Design, Manufacturing and Test of a High Lift Secondary Flight Control Surface with Shape Memory Alloy Post-Buckled Precompressed Actuators
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Actuators 2015, 4(3), 203-216; doi:10.3390/act4030203

Elastic Cube Actuator with Six Degrees of Freedom Output

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
2
Structures and Composites Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
3
Soft Robotics group, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Delbert Tesar
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 August 2015 / Published: 7 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [683 KB, uploaded 7 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

Unlike conventional rigid actuators, soft robotic technologies possess inherent compliance, so they can stretch and twist along every axis without the need for articulated joints. This compliance is exploited here using dielectric elastomer membranes to develop a novel six degrees of freedom (6-DOF) polymer actuator that unifies ordinarily separate components into a simple cubic structure. This cube actuator design incorporates elastic dielectric elastomer membranes on four faces which are coupled by a cross-shaped end effector. The inherent elasticity of each membrane greatly reduces kinematic constraint and enables a 6-DOF actuation output to be produced via the end effector. An electro-mechanical model of the cube actuator is presented that captures the non-linear hyperelastic behaviour of the active membranes. It is demonstrated that the model accurately predicts actuator displacement and blocking moment for a range of input voltages. Experimental testing of a prototype 60 mm device demonstrates 6-DOF operation. The prototype produces maximum linear and rotational displacements of ±2.6 mm (±4.3%) and ±4.8° respectively and a maximum blocking moment of ±76 mNm. The capacity for full 6-DOF actuation from a compact, readily scalable and easily fabricated polymeric package enables implementation in a range of mechatronics and robotics applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-axis actuators; soft robotics; dielectric elastomer; electro-active polymers; hyperelastic modelling multi-axis actuators; soft robotics; dielectric elastomer; electro-active polymers; hyperelastic modelling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, P.; Conn, A.T. Elastic Cube Actuator with Six Degrees of Freedom Output. Actuators 2015, 4, 203-216.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Actuators EISSN 2076-0825 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top