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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

An Overview of Novel Actuators for Soft Robotics

1
Mechanics and Maritime Sciences Department, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
2
Mechanical Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul 34437, Turkey
3
Institut fur Montagetechnik (match), Leibniz Universität Hannover, 30823 Garbsen, Hannover, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Actuators 2018, 7(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7030048
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotic Actuators)
In this systematic survey, an overview of non-conventional actuators particularly used in soft-robotics is presented. The review is performed by using well-defined performance criteria with a direction to identify the exemplary and potential applications. In addition to this, initial guidelines to compare the performance and applicability of these novel actuators are provided. The meta-analysis is restricted to five main types of actuators: shape memory alloys (SMAs), fluidic elastomer actuators (FEAs), shape morphing polymers (SMPs), dielectric electro-activated polymers (DEAPs), and magnetic/electro-magnetic actuators (E/MAs). In exploring and comparing the capabilities of these actuators, the focus was on eight different aspects: compliance, topology-geometry, scalability-complexity, energy efficiency, operation range, modality, controllability, and technological readiness level (TRL). The overview presented here provides a state-of-the-art summary of the advancements and can help researchers to select the most convenient soft actuators using the comprehensive comparison of the suggested quantitative and qualitative criteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft-robotics; actuator performance; SMA; SMP; FEA; DEAP; E/MA soft-robotics; actuator performance; SMA; SMP; FEA; DEAP; E/MA
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boyraz, P.; Runge, G.; Raatz, A. An Overview of Novel Actuators for Soft Robotics. Actuators 2018, 7, 48.

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