Dielectric elastomer fingers for versatile grasping and nimble pinching

Gih Keong Lau*, Kim Rui Heng, Anansa S. Ahmed, Milan Shrestha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Boneless soft robotic fingers cannot apply concentrated forces to pinch a delicate object. This letter reports a three-dimensional design of dielectric elastomer fingers with higher flexural stiffness and close to 90° voltage-controllable bending for object gripping and pinching. It makes use of tension arch flexures to elevate a pre-stretched dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) into a roof shape and thus magnifies the tension-induced moment, 40 times higher than a flat DEA does, to bend a stiff base frame. Such fingers make normally close-grippers to lift a payload 8-9 times their weight. They also make normally open grippers that pinch a highly deformable raw egg yolk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182906
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

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