Publication Details

Huynh, N. N., Alici, G. & Spinks, G. M. (2006). Force analysis and characterisation of polymer actuators. RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (pp. 5465-5470). Beijing, China: IEEE.


There has been an increasing interest in conducting polymers, especially polypyrrole (PPy), as potential actuators for many cutting edge applications including micromanipulation and biomedical devices. Their performance needs to be assessed in terms of force and displacement outputs before they can be employed in practical devices. As part of an ongoing project to develop a robotic gripper for micro-manipulation/fabrication applications, this study focuses on (i) deriving a mathematical model to predict the force produced at the tip of a trilayer bending type PPy-based actuator under input voltages, and (ii) experimentally verifying the model. The model has been used to estimate the force produced by a robotic finger consisting of a PPy actuator and a rigid link. The results presented show a good agreement between the experimental and predicted forces for two actuators with the dimensions of (10mm ÿ 1mm ÿ 0.17mm) and (5mm ÿ 1mm ÿ 0.17mm) with driving voltages up to 0.8 V.

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