2013 EAP-in-Action – SPIE’s EAPAD Conf.




Smart Push Button with Shape Memory Gel

Hidemitsu Furukawa, Jin Gong, Soft and Wet Matter Engineering Laboratory (SWEL), Yamagata University (Japan)


A smart push button is designed by using shape memory gel as a contact disc. The push button has the similar small size as a toy block, and it’s on/off switch function can be smartly controlled by temperature.










New Zealand

Dielectric elastomer (DE) technology for self-sensing, portable energy harvesting and product development

Iain Anderson, Andrew Lo, Thomas McKay, Daniel Xu, Biomimetics Laboratory, Auckland, New Zealand www.abi.auckland.ac.nz/biomimetics


The Biomimetics Lab of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute will present dielectric elastomer (DE) technology for self-sensing, portable energy harvesting and product development. Their showcase will include the following demonstration units:


(1) 8 channel capacitive sensing unit

Multi-degree-of-freedom robots that could one day mimic the octopus will require multi-degree-of-freedom sensing.  A device will be demonstrated using the latest in-house developed sensing electronics to provide multi-degree-of-freedom sensing. This sensing unit can simultaneously capture the capacitance of 8 independent sensors. 










(2) A hand-held dielectric elastomer generator: Some new developments in artificial muscle portable energy harvesting will be demonstrated.






EAP Controller


(3) The four channel Artificial Muscle Control Unit (www.biomimeticslab.com)

 This stand-alone portable laboratory instrument simplifies the generation and control of high voltages for artificial muscle research.  It features include 4 independent output channels, computer control, battery operation, and safety features that make it suitable for bench-top use.








(4) The Self-Sensing Unit (www.biomimeticslab.com)

 Get real-time sensory feedback from your artificial muscles, characterize new EAP materials and develop new products with the Biomimetics Lab’s Self-Sensing Unit (SSU)!






Snapshot 1 (16-10-2012 5-25 p


(5) High voltage surprise!

Do you like high voltages? Come to EAP-in-action; you might see something shocking!








High-speed silicone DEAs

S. Rosset, L. Maffli, S. Akbari, J. Shintake, S. Araromi, A. Poulin, and H. Shea, EPFL, Switzerland


µm- to cm-scale dielectric elastomer actuators will be presented, which, thanks to the use of silicone membranes and silicone-carbon electrodes, operate at speeds up to several kHz, limited by device resonance frequency. Applications range from soft robotics to tissue engineering.





ViviTouch Audio - Take the Power of Live Music Anywhere

Al Zarrabi (Senior Product Manager), and Art Muir (Director of System Engineering and Business Development), ViviTouch, a Bayer MaterialScience Brand in Sunnyvale, California.


Headphone infographic Final




This demo will showcase how ViviTouch actuators are now applying EAP technology in a brand new way to the portable headphone category.






Torsional and Tensile Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Yarn Muscles

Marcio Lima, Na Li, Monica Jung de Andrade, Carter S. Haines, Ray H. Baughman, NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas


Electrolyte-free carbon nanotube based artificial muscles have been designed to provide fast torsional and tensile actuation. As recently published in the journal Science [Lima et al, 2012], these muscles can spin a rotor at an average 11,500 revolutions/minute (20 times higher than previously demonstrated for an artificial muscle) and provide up to 27.9 kW/kg of mechanical power density during muscle contraction (85 times higher than for natural skeletal muscle). More than a million cycles of tensile and torsional actuation have been performed without a significant loss of performance. These actuators can operate from cryogenic temperatures to 2500°C. Demonstrations include torsional rotors and contractile muscles exemplifying large stroke and high rate performance.


Ref: M. D. Lima, N. Li, M. Jung de Andrade, S. Fang, J. Oh, G. M. Spinks, M. E. Kozlov, C. S. Haines, D. Suh, J. Foroughi, S. J. Kim, Y. Chen, T. Ware, M. K. Shin, L. D. Machado, A. F. Fonseca, J. D. W. Madden, W. E. Voit, D. S. Galvăo, R. H. Baughman, “Electrically, Chemically, and Photonically Powered Torsional and Tensile Actuation of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles”, Science (2012)





Carbon nanotube actuator configurations offering different tensile and torsional actuation properties.












Bistable electroactive polymers (BSEP) and refreshable Braille display devices

Xiaofan Niu, Xinguo Yang, Paul Brochu, Hristiyan Stoyanov, Sungryul Yun, Zhibin Yu, and Qibing Pei, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles




A new bistable electroactive polymer has been developed via a prestrain-free synthesis. The actuation stability has been significantly improved. High-performance bistable electroactive polymer actuators and a refreshable Braille display device will be demonstrated.








Electrically Driven Mechanochemical Actuators
Lenore Rasmussen, Ras Labs, LLC, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ


http://spie.org/images/graphics/ConferencesExhibitions/ssnde13-eap-pics/Carbon-infused-contractile-EAP.jpghttp://spie.org/images/graphics/ConferencesExhibitions/ssnde13-eap-pics/Linear-push-pull-prototype.jpghttp://spie.org/images/graphics/ConferencesExhibitions/ssnde13-eap-pics/Rotation-of-cylindrical-prototype.jpgUsing Carbon infused contractile EAP, a demonstration will be made showing an electrically driven mechano-chemical actuators. Driven by 50 V or less, these actuators will perform rotational and push-pull motions with minimal generation of heat or noise.