Soft Robotic Gripper Based on Multi-Layers of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators
Witchuda Thongking*,**, Ardi Wiranata*, Ayato Minaminosono*, Zebing Mao*, and Shingo Maeda*
*Department of Functional Control System, Shibaura Institute of Technology
3-7-5 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8548, Japan
**Biomedical Innovation Engineering, Suranaree University of Technology
111 University Avenue, Muang District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000, Thailand
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are a promising technology for soft robotics. The use of DEAs has many advantages, including light weight, resilience, and fast response for its applications, such as grippers, artificial muscles, and heel strike generators. Grippers are commonly used as grasping devices. In this study, we focus on DEA applications and propose a technology to expand the applicability of a soft gripper. The advantages of gripper-based DEAs include light weight, fast response, and low cost. We fabricated soft grippers using multiple DEA layers. The grippers successfully held or gripped an object, and we investigated the response time of the grippers and their angle characteristics. We studied the relationship between the number of DEA layers and the performance of our grippers. Our experimental results show that the multi-layered DEAs have the potential to be strong grippers.
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