Quantifying the positioning resolution of cantilever-type electroactive polymer actuators
This study presents the results and implications of our experimental investigation into quantifying the positioning resolution of cantilever-type electroactive polymer actuators. The experimental results and their analysis suggest that using small inputs in the order of 1 mV, resolvable and reproducible movements of ~0.5 m could be discerned. This result is equal to the limit of reading of the device (a laser displacement sensor) used to measure the actuators’ position. We conclude that the true resolution must be equal to or less than 0.5 m. Such information is very important for the application of these emerging actuators, particularly for applications where precise positioning is needed. This methodology can be extended to other similar cantilever type of polymer actuators and tested with a position sensor with a better resolution to determine their ultimate resolution. This study is the first exploration of the minimum displacement that can be generated by such actuators.