Authors: Stephen M. Bobbio, Stephen W. Smith, Jason M. Zara, Scott M. Goodwin Company: University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Duke University, George Washington University, and Research Triangle Institute Date Published: 1/31/2007
Pan Pacific Symposium
Abstract: Actuators that use electrostatic force to effect motion have been developed. They are scalable and operate in a muscle-like way with proportional response to the applied voltage. The small structures reported here operate over a 20 to 90 volt range with forces as high as 10,000 dynes and strains of 20%. They are made of metallized plastic that has been directly patterned using microfabrication techniques. The presentation will focus on two types of devices: the Integrated Force Array (IFA) and the Spiral Wound Transducer (SWT). Both types are configured as concatenated arrays of flexible microcapacitors that deform when voltage is applied. The deformations of the individual elements add to produce an overall muscle-like compression of the array. Keywords: actuator, effector, transducer, artificial muscle, synthetic muscle.