Soft actuators and their fabrication for bio-inspired mobile robots

Gih Keong Lau, Sze Shien Low, Yao Wei Chin, Kim Rui Heng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA), which are capable of muscle-like actuation, have potential to drive insect-inspired flapping-wing robotfly. There have yet been successfully used to drive flapping wings due to various limitations. This paper revisits their use and integration in a thoracic mechanism as either indirect or direct muscles. Three forms of DEA, i.e. folded, rolled, and pre-stretched membrane, were evaluated and integrated in different thoracic mechanisms. The pre-strained membrane of dielectric elastomer was found capable of generating a large rotation. On the other hand, the folded and rolled ones with either no or little pre-strain performed modestly in this flapping-wing application. Pre-strain was found to be important to maximize the actuator performance. In addition, this paper reviewed manufacturing processes for multi-layered DEAs and possibility of introducing pre-strained in the multi-layered layup.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st International Conference on Progress in Additive Manufacturing, Pro-AM 2014
EditorsChee Kai Chua, Wai Yee Yeong, Ming Jen Tan, Erjia Liu
PublisherResearch Publishing Services
Number of pages8
VolumePart F129095
ISBN (Electronic)9789810904463
StatePublished - 26 May 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Progress in Additive Manufacturing
ISSN (Print)2424-8967

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