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11 July 2002 Macroscopic devices and complex movements developed with artificial muscles
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Conducting polymer-based actuators undergo volumetric changes as they are oxidized or reduced, from which mechanical work can be obtained. Polypyrrole (Ppy)-based actuator devices have attracted recent interest because of their similarities with the natural muscles. However, the operation of these and others actuators has largely been constrained to microscopical world. Macroscopical operation is clearly desirable for many potential applications. We have fabricated a new macroscopical actuator device based on PPy acting in liquid media. Using trilayers (PPy film/adhesive polymer /PPy film), and rigid pieces articulate actuators of 9,5 cm in long have been developed. The position of the trilayers at the device and its design simulate the movement of a finger where the movements of each trilayer are as articulations. These materials present a high degree of mobility, a good energy density, a medium speed of response and low operation voltages; these features are desirable for robotic applications. A simple equation based on electrochemical characterization of trilayer can predict device performance from load conditions. A lineal join for a double articulated (finger-like) device using macroscopical trilayer actuator has been demonstrated.
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Toribio Fernandez Otero, M. Teresa Cortes, and Iker Boyano "Macroscopic devices and complex movements developed with artificial muscles", Proc. SPIE 4695, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), (11 July 2002);

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