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Research Papers

A Compliant Translational Mechanism Based on Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

[+] Author and Article Information
Chuc Huu Nguyen

School of Mechanical, Materials and
Mechatronic Engineering,
ARC Centre of Excellence for
Electromaterials Science,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
e-mail: chuc@uow.edu.au

Gursel Alici

School of Mechanical, Materials and
Mechatronic Engineering,
ARC Centre of Excellence for
Electromaterials Science,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
e-mail: gursel@uow.edu.au

Rahim Mutlu

School of Mechanical, Materials, and
Mechatronic Engineering,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
e-mail: rmutlu@uow.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received September 22, 2013; final manuscript received February 25, 2014; published online April 21, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Oscar Altuzarra.

J. Mech. Des 136(6), 061009 (Apr 21, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: MD-13-1420; doi: 10.1115/1.4027167 History: Received September 22, 2013; Revised February 25, 2014

This paper reports on a linear actuation mechanism in the form of a parallel-crank mechanism (i.e., double-crank mechanism) articulated with two dielectric elastomer actuators working in parallel that are fabricated as a minimum energy structure. This structure is established by stretching a dielectric elastomer (DE) film (VHB4910) over a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) frame so that the energy released from the stretched DE film is stored in the frame as bending energy. The mechanism can output a translational motion under a driving voltage applied between two electrodes of the DE film. We have proposed visco-elastic models for the DE film and the frame of the actuator so that the mechanical properties of the actuator can more accurately be incorporated into the mechanism model. The proposed model accurately predicts the experimental frequency response of the mechanism at different voltages. In addition, an inversion-based feedforward controller was successfully implemented in order to further validate the proposed model for sensorless position control of the actuators and the parallel-crank mechanism articulated with these actuators.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Actuators , Elastomers
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References

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Figures

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Fig. 6

The parallel-crank mechanism (a) initial state and (b) bending state when the driving voltage is applied

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Fig. 5

The proposed parallel-crank mechanism

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Fig. 4

The bending actuator based on the minimum energy principle

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Fig. 3

The working principle of the bending actuator built as a minimum energy structure. The wider end of the structure is fixed to generate the bending motion.

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Fig. 2

Operation principle of dielectric elastomer actuators [5]

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Fig. 1

Configuration of the proposed parallel-crank mechanism

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Fig. 7

Standard linear solid model for the DE film

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Fig. 8

The viscoelastic model of the PET frame

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Fig. 9

Schematic of the parallel-crank mechanism from a non-actuated configuration to an actuated configuration

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Fig. 20

Experimental displacement outputs under the inversion-based controller for a desired sinusoidal wave 1.0 (sin(πt-π/2) + 1) + 0.1sin10πt (mm)

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Fig. 21

Experimental displacement outputs under the inversion-based controller for a step input for (a) 10 s (b) for the first 2.5 s

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Fig. 22

Voltage output of controlling step input for (a) 10 s and (b) for the first 2.5 s

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Fig. 10

Schematic of each bending actuator at their initial and final configurations

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Fig. 11

The experimental setup

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Fig. 12

The quasi-static bending behavior of the bending actuator based on the minimum energy principle under a range of input voltages

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Fig. 13

The relationship between the bending angle and the input voltage of bending actuator (θ)

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Fig. 14

The relationship between the displacement output of the mechanism and the driving voltage in steady state

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Fig. 15

Experimental frequency responses of the four-bar mechanism at different voltages, and estimated responses from the transfer functions identified for each experimental result

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Fig. 16

Schematic of the inversion-based controller for the sensorless position control of the proposed mechanism

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Fig. 17

Experimental displacement outputs under the inversion-based controller for a desired sinusoidal wave yd=1.8 (sin(0.2πt-π/2)+1) (mm)

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Fig. 18

Experimental displacement outputs under the inversion-based controller for a desired sinusoidal wave yd = 1.8 (sin(πt - π/2)+1) (mm)

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Fig. 19

Experimental displacement outputs under the inversion-based controller for a desired triangle wave with a frequency of 0.1 Hz

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