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Artificial vibrissae DEA-based module

Assaf, Tareq; Conn, Andrew; Rossiter, Jonathan; Walters, Peter; Pearson, Martin


Tareq Assaf

Andrew Conn

Jonathan Rossiter

Peter Walters


The article presents a working whisker structure based on dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs). This preliminary work aims to exploit the features of the dielectric elastomer technology for use in an effective and reliable robotic application whilst accommodating the limitations of this emerging actuation technique. To this end, a modular design and structure have been conceived to simplify the building and repair process of the critical components such as the connectors, wiring, sensors and DEA membranes. This design represents the engineering and scaling of the concepts and techniques developed in previous work, and to overcome identified technical and methodological constraints that previously prohibited extensive real applications. The structure is realised as a trade-off between the unique characteristics of the DEA technology and the robotic development issues. Safety, robustness, production time and key aspects of robotic design are taken into account in the development of this prototype. The results presented show how this structure addresses the design requirement and technical constraints previously identified. The active whisking range achieved is ±14 degrees, measured using image processing of videos captured by both standard and high speed cameras. This metric will be used as one of the measures for planned improvements that are discussed in addition to the advantages and limitations of the structure and the design decisions made. © 2014 SPIE.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (published)
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Print ISSN 0277-786X
Electronic ISSN 1996-756X
Publisher Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9056
Keywords dielectric elastomer actuators, engineering, high speed cameras, image processing, safety, sensors, video, connectors
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