Because most strain generating materials, such as piezoelectrics and electrostrictives, produce small deflections with large forces, some means of strain amplification is often employed to tailor the output of the actuation system to match the need of the application. Various external and internal leverage devices have been developed to amplify strain; however, these devices are commonly inefficient due to transmission losses and can be difficult to pack into constrained application volumes. A Recurve actuator architecture has been designed which amplifies direct material strains and allows for construction of highly packable, high energy density actuator arrays. The Recurve architecture enables arrays that can be tailored to produce specific force and displacement output and can be configured in a variety of ways to make efficient use of available design space. This paper describes a Recurve actuator architecture and presents a quasi-static model relating voltage, force, and deflection along with experimental results for fundamental Recurve actuator elements.

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