skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1739452

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. The need to create more viable soft sensors is increasing in tandem with the growing interest in soft robots. Several sensing methods, like capacitive stretch sensing and intrinsic capacitive self-sensing, have proven to be useful when controlling soft electro-hydraulic actuators, but are still problematic. This is due to challenges around high-voltage electronic interference or the inability to accurately sense the actuator at higher actuation frequencies. These issues are compounded when trying to sense and control the movement of a multiactuator system. To address these shortcomings, we describe a two-part magnetic sensing mechanism to measure the changes in displacement of an electro-hydraulic (HASEL) actuator. Our magnetic sensing mechanism can achieve high accuracy and precision for the HASEL actuator displacement range, and accurately tracks motion at actuation frequencies up to 30 Hz, while being robust to changes in ambient temperature and relative humidity. The high accuracy of the magnetic sensing mechanism is also further emphasized in the gripper demonstration. Using this sensing mechanism, we can detect submillimeter difference in the diameters of three tomatoes. Finally, we successfully perform closed-loop control of one folded HASEL actuator using the sensor, which is then scaled into a deformable tilting platform of six units (one HASELmore »actuator and one sensor) that control a desired end effector position in 3D space. This work demonstrates the first instance of sensing electro-hydraulic deformation using a magnetic sensing mechanism. The ability to more accurately and precisely sense and control HASEL actuators and similar soft actuators is necessary to improve the abilities of soft, robotic platforms.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 9, 2023
  3. Current designs of powered prosthetic limbs are limited by the nearly exclusive use of DC motor technology. Soft actuators promise new design freedom to create prosthetic limbs which more closely mimic intact neuromuscular systems and improve the capabilities of prosthetic users. This work evaluates the performance of a hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) soft actuator for use in a prosthetic hand. We compare a linearly-contracting HASEL actuator, termed a Peano-HASEL, to an existing actuator (DC motor) when driving a prosthetic finger like those utilized in multi-functional prosthetic hands. A kinematic model of the prosthetic finger is developed and validated, and is used to customize a prosthetic finger that is tuned to complement the force-strain characteristics of the Peano-HASEL actuators. An analytical model is used to inform the design of an improved Peano-HASEL actuator with the goal of increasing the fingertip pinch force of the prosthetic finger. When compared to a weight-matched DC motor actuator, the Peano-HASEL and custom finger is 10.6 times faster, has 11.1 times higher bandwidth, and consumes 8.7 times less electrical energy to grasp. It reaches 91% of the maximum range of motion of the original finger. However, the DC motor actuator produces 10 times the fingertipmore »force at a relevant grip position. In this body of work, we present ways to further increase the force output of the Peano-HASEL driven prosthetic finger system, and discuss the significance of the unique properties of Peano-HASELs when applied to the field of upper-limb prosthetic design. This approach toward clinically-relevant actuator performance paired with a substantially different form-factor compared to DC motors presents new opportunities to advance the field of prosthetic limb design.« less