Description: armwrestling iconWorldWide Electroactive Polymer Actuators* Webhub

* Artificial Muscles

This homepage provides links to various electroactive polymer (EAP) websites worldwide and it is maintained by the JPL's NDEAA Technologies Lab. For background information please see a lecture on video entitled "Electroactive Polymers as Artificial Muscles”. The field of EAP is part of the broader field of biomimetics


Note: The graphics on this website is clickable. The graphics of the two EAP platforms are linked to videos that require QuickTime.

View video reviewing the field of EAP  

In 1999, Dr. Bar-Cohen posed a challenge to the worldwide research and engineering community to develop a robotic arm that is actuated by artificial muscles to win an armwrestling match against a human opponent. The first Armwrestling Match between EAP actuated Robot and Human (AMERAH) was held on March 7, 2005 as part of the 2005 SPIE Annual International EAPAD (EAP Actuators & Devices) Conference. This match was organized with assistance from the United States ArmSports who provided the table for the match. There were three participating organizations including Environmental Robots Incorporated (ERI), New Mexico; Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, EMPA, Dubendorf, Switzerland; and three senior students from the Engineering Science and Mechanics Dept., Virginia Tech. The human opponent is Panna Felsen, a Straight-A high school student from San Diego. Panna won against all the three robotic arms where the ERI made arm managed to last 26-seconds before losing while the other two managed to hold for 4 and 3 seconds, respectively. Even though they did not win, this has been a very important milestone for the field. To draw analogy from aerospace, one may want to remember that the first flight lasted about 12 seconds. A video of the competition is available on the Discovery channel's Daily Planet, March 15, 2005.


Some of the applications that are being considered include Haptic/Tactile Interfaces and particularly Active Braille Display. Another development is the first commercial product and it is a fish robot, and it was announced by EAMEX, Japan, at the SPIE's EAPAD 2003 Conference.




·   Books that cover the subject of EAP

·   EAP related Conferences and Symposia

·   Companies that produce EAP materials, and actuators, and/or provide processes

·   Description: robot fishBiomimetics: Biologically-Inspired Technologies

·   Research opportunities (STTR, MURI, etc.)

·   Available positions (Postdoc, etc.)

·   How to make Electroactive Polymer Actuators (IPMC, etc.)

·   EAP in Action video clippings

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\rpoint.gifWorldwide EAP Newsletter

Call for input to the 23rd issue of the WW-EAP Newsletter



Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif    What are muscles? - "Skeletal Muscle is a Biological Example of a Linear Electro-Active Actuator," Dr. Richard L. Lieber, UCSD (SPIE paper 3669-03)

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif    What are the names of human muscles? - Atlas of the Body The Muscles - Side View

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif    A brief history of muscle research - Anthony N. Martonosi, "Animal electricity, Ca2+ and muscle contraction," Acta Biochimica Polonica, Vol. 47 No. 3 (2000)

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif    How is muscles compared with conductive polymer EAP? - MIT's comparison table

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif    How are EAP compared with other electroactive materials? - SRI International comparison tables/charts. These tables and charts are based on preliminary data. We would like to encourage the research community to challenge the data and help us make it as accurate as possible.

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif   Comparing the properties of EAP materials - Review article by J. Madden, et al, Materials Today, April 2007

Description: T:\www\nasa-nde\lommas\eap\blueball.gif  Properties of Biological and Artificial Muscles/EAP - Measured EAP properties: the University of British Columbia's web database for viewing, comparing and submitting EAP properties.



Description: Description: blueballWW-EAP Newsletter, JPL

Description: Description: blueballBioinspiration & Biomimetics Learning from Nature

Description: Robotic handDescription: blueballIEEE Spectrum/Robotics

Description: blueballBiomaterials Network -

Description: blueballNeuroprosthesis Website

Description: blueballRapra Publications, "Handbook of Conducting Polymers"





Description: blueball Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, U. of Wollongong



Description: blueballLaboratorio de Polimeros Condutores e Reciclagem, Instituto de Quimica, Campinas, SP



Description: blueballConducting Polymer Devices Group, University of British Columbia

Description: blueballSmart and Adaptive Polymers Lab, University of Toronto



Description: coverpage scientific americanIntelligent Materials and Systems Laboratory, University of Tartu



Description: blueballConductive Polymers -- Centro Polymer Science & Engineering, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune



Description: blueballDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Description: blueball Plastic and Rubber Engineering, Materials and Processes, RAFAEL, Haifa, Israel



Description: blueballIon Exchange Memberances (IPMC), Asahi Glass

Description: blueballBiomimetic Materials Group, National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research, Tsukuba

Description: blueballEAMEX Corporation, Ikeda Laboratory:1-8-31 Midorigaoka, Ikeda city, Osaka,

Description: blueballJouhou System Kougaku Laboratory, Dept. of Mechano Informatics, Faculty of Engineering, Univ. of Tokyo

Description: blueballOsaka National Research Institute, Osaka

Description: blueballDept. of Computer & Systems Engineering, Kobe University

Description: blueballDiv. of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University

Description: blueballHane Lab, Department of Mechatronics and Precision Engineering, Tohoku University, Graduate school of Engineering, Sendai, Japan

Description: blueballEAP nonionic polymer gel actuators, Department of Materials Chemistry, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University

Description: blueballKyushu Institute of Technology, Fokuoka

Description: blueballRitsumeikan University

Description: blueballGunma University, Maebashi

Description: blueballToshio Nippon Densan Corp., Shiga

Description: blueballOlymous Optical Co.

Description: blueballCanon K.K.



Description: blueballDepartment of Electrical Engineering, Dankook University, Seoul

Description: blueballDept. of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul


New Zealand

Biomimetics Laboratory, The Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland



Description: blueballEuropean Network of artificial muscle (ESNAM)



        Description: blueball Risoe National Laboratory, Condensed Matter Physics and Chemistry Department, Roskilde

        Description: blueball Danfoss PolyPower A/S


Description: blueball Rapra Publications, Handbook of Conducting Polymers


Description: blueball Department of Cardiac Surgery, Timone Hospital Marseille

Description: blueball l'Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris

Description: blueball Institut Curie in Paris

Description: blueball Laboratoire d'Automatique, Besançon

Description: blueball Reseau Francais de Mecanosynthese

Description: blueball Institut Curie - PARIS CEDEX 05, France, in collaboration with PG de Gennes


Description: blueball Department of Physics, University of Bayreuth, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth

Description: blueball Institute for Electromechanical Design, Darmstadt University of Technology


Description: blueball Magnetic Field Sensitive Polymer Gels, Dept. of Physical Chemistry, Technical University of Budapest


Description: blueball Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Elettronica e dei Sistemi, Università degli Studi di Catania

Description: blueball Dept. of Computers Science, University of Genoa, Genoa

Description: blueball Centro ""E. Piaggio" Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa


Description: blueball St. Petersburg Inst. for Informatics & Automat. of Russia Academy of Sciences, Robotics Laboratory, St. Petersburg


Description: blueball University of the Basque Country, Faculty of Chemistry, San Sebastian

Description: blueball Mobile Manipulators Group, Carlos III University of Madrid


Description: blueball Lab. of Applied Physics, IFM, Linköpings universitet, Linköping

Description: blueball Micromuscle AB, Linköping


      Description: blueball Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Dübendorf

      Description: blueball Optotune, Ueberlandstrasse, Dübendorf

      Description: blueball Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)


Description: blueball Department of Electrical and Electronics Eng. Dokuz Eylul University, Ýzmir




      Description: blueballLab of Molecular Biophysics, University of Alabama, AL


      Description: blueballGel Polymers University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ


Description: blueballElectroactive Polymers (EAP), NDEAA Lab, Advanced Technologies Group, JPL, Pasadena, CA

Description: blueballSPAWARSYSCEN, San Diego, CA

Description: blueballIntelligent Mechanisms Group, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Description: blueballSRI International, Advanced Technology Division, Menlo Park, CA

Description: blueballDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Description: blueballDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Riverside, CA

Description: blueballDepartment of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences, Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials, University of California, San Diego

Description: blueballHanson Robotics, Inc.


Description: blueballEAP Reports, Business Communications Company Inc., Connecticut

Description: blueballInstitute of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Depts., University of Connecticut


Description: blueballLaboratory for Active Materials and Biomimetics, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Description: blueballDept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Description: blueballMIT, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Cambridge, Ma

Description: blueballMIT, Bioinstruments, Conducting Polymer Devices and Materials, Cambridge, Ma

Description: blueballMolecular Mechanisms, Ma


Description: blueballMichigan State University - "The Nanotube Site"

Description: blueballMichigan State University - Smart Microsystems Laboratory (SML)


      Description: blueballMontana State University, Dept. of Physics, College of Letters and Science, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

New Jersey

Description: blueballAllied Signal, Morristown, NJ

Description: blueballRobotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Eng., Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ

Description: blueballDept. of Mechanics and Materials Science, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

New Mexico

Description: blueball (AMRI) Artificial Muscle Research Institute, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Description: blueball Environmental Robots Inc., Albuquerque, NM

Description: blueballSanta Fe Science and Technology, Santa Fe, NM

Description: blueballSmart Materials & Structures at Sandia, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

North Carolina

Description: blueballMCNC - Sensors and Actuators Group, Materials and Electronic Technologies Division, Research Triangle Park, NC


Description: blueballElectro Polymer Technology

Description: blueballIndiana University of Pennsylvania

Description: blueballNeuro Kinetics, Inc.

Description: blueballPenn State University, Materials Research Lab, College Station, PA

Description: blueballPenn State College of Medicine

South Dakota

      Description: blueballCompliant Structures Laboratory, ME Dept., SD School of Mines & Tech., Rapid City, SD


Description: blueballUTD NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas


Description: blueballComposites & Polymers Branch, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Description: blueballFiber & Electro-Optics Research Center (FEORC), Virginia Tech

Description: blueballCenter for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Virginia Tech


Description: blueballDepartment of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Biological muscles

Description: blueballDept. of Orhopedics and Bioengineering, University of California, V.A. Medical Center, San Diego, CA

Description: blueballDepartment of Cardiac Surgery, Timone Hospital Marseille, France

EAP materials Suppliers

Description: blueballCompanies that produce EAP materials, and actuators, and/or provide processes


Polymer MEMS

The following are institutes that are exploring the use of polymers to produce micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS)

Description: blueballMicro Actuators, Sensors, and Systems Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Technical Journal that is recommended for EAP R&D publications:

Description: blueballWW-EAP Newsletter, JPL

Description: blueballBioinspiration & Biomimetics Learning from Nature

Description: blueballIEEE Spectrum/Robotics

Description: blueballBiomaterials Network -

Description: blueballNeuroprosthesis Website

Description: blueballRapra Publications, "Handbook of Conducting Polymers"



EAP - general term describing polymers that respond to electrical stimulation

Electronic EAP - polymer that change shape or dimensions due to migration of electrons in response to electric field (usually dry)

Ionic EAP - polymer that change shape or dimensions due to migration of ions in response to electric field (usually wet and contains electrolyte)

Electrostriction - the none linear reaction of ferroelectric EAP (relating strain to E2)


For more information you can contact:
Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), MS 67-119,

4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099

Phone: 818-354-2610, e-mail:

Last updated – February 14, 2011