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A robotic gripper based on conducting polymer actuators

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2 Author(s)
Alici, G. ; Sch. of Mech., Mater. & Mechatronic Eng., Wollongong Univ., NSW ; Huynh, N.N.

Conducting polymer actuators or as widely known as artificial muscles have many promising features such as being biocompatible and suitable to open loop control, and having high force to weight ratio. If properly engineered, they can be employed as actuators plus joints like active flexure joints articulating monolithic structures. Such structures or systems not containing any sliding and/or rolling components potentially have high positioning accuracy, which is crucial for micro/nano manipulation applications. In this paper, we employ a bending type polymer actuator to articulate two separate rigid links made up of carbon fibre such that a two-finger gripper is formed. We report on the force modeling and characterisation of the actuator and the finger, the fabrication of the fingers, and preliminary performance outcomes of the gripper. The size of each finger is (5 mm + 5 mm) times 1 mm times 0.17 mm. The results demonstrate that conducting polymer actuators can be employed as actuators to make functional robotic devices with reasonably high force output

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Advanced Motion Control, 2006. 9th IEEE International Workshop on

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