The 10th Anniversary of the SPIE’s EAPAD Conf.


EAP-in-Action Session

San Diego, CA, March 10, 2008

Session 3 – EAP-in-Action: Moderator - Yoseph Bar-Cohen, JPL

3:10 to 4:30      Preparation for the EAP-in-Action Session

4:30 to 5:45      EAP-in-Action Session and possibly wrestling challenge contest


This Session is intended to turn the spotlight on Electroactive Polymers (EAP) materials, their capability, and their potential for smart structures.  New materials and applications are continuing to emerge and this is a great opportunity for the attendees to see state-of-the-art demonstrations of the unique capabilities of EAP as possible actuators-of-choice.  This Session offers a forum for interaction between developers and potential users as well as a "hands-on" experience with this emerging technology.  It was during this session that he first Human/EAP-Robot Armwrestling Contest was held in 2005. 

In 2008 we will have the 10th anniversary of our EAPAD Conference and we are going to celebrate it with exciting demonstrations from 8 groups representing the following countries: Australia, ChinaItaly, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA.  These demos will include various novel EAP actuators, prototypes and emerging products such as artificial fish, synthetic flower that opens and closes, a camera auto focus drive, tunable optics, an energy harvester, and a giant blimp. 


Video made by Associate Press showing the 2008 EAP in Action




Lead presenter


Australia,  University of Wollongong,

Geoff Spinks


Scott McGovern



(a) A fast (100 Hz) polypyrrole trilayer actuators


(b) the same systems operating as sensors       (c) prototype robotic fish

China,  Harbin Institute of Technology,

Jinsong Leng

A flower that opens when it gets hot – using Shape Memory Polymers

Closed     Opened

Italy University of Pisa, Research Centre “E. Piaggio”

Federico Carpi

Contractile folded dielectric elastomer actuators and buckling dielectric elastomer actuators

New Zealand,

Auckland Biomimetics Laboratory Bioengineering Institute, and

Industrial Research Ltd,



Iain Anderson1


Emilio Calius2

Todd Gisby1

Ben O’Brien1


1. Auckland Bioengineering Institute,

2. Industrial Research Ltd, New Zealand

The Auckland Bioengineering Institute's Biomimetics Lab in Action


Several demonstration items showcasing applications of Dielectric Elastomer Minimum Energy Structure (DEMES) bending actuators, and novel methods for fine control of DE transducers including electro-physiological signals.


Switzerland,  Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research / Empa

Silvain Michel, Head of EAP research group


Christa Jordi



Model blimp with EAP-driven control surfaces


An improved 2nd version will be shown in an indoor flight demonstration and it would show the successful integration of membrane dielectric elastomer actuators in a Lighter-than-Air vehicle.

Switzerland, Optotune, Zürich


Note – This is a Start-up company at EMPA Dübendorf

Manuel Aschwanden

·     David Niederer

·      Mark Blum

Tunable Optical Elements based on Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

Two continuously tunable optical components will be adjusted by dielectric elastomer actuators.

1. Optical element is a phase shifter that achieves a phase shift of up to 10 l.

2. Focus tunable lens that can be tuned from a convex (+20 dpt.) to a concave (-20 dpt.) shape by simply applying a voltage to it. Both devices operate with high transmission, good optical quality, high damage threshold, and are polarization independent.


Highly  tunable optical elements can be used in a wide range of applications including still image cameras, video cameras, projectors, endoscopes, microscopes and other optical systems where light modulation and beam shaping is required.

USA,  Artificial Muscle, Inc.

Charlie Duncheon, Executive VP


Some of the latest prototypes and products at AMI

·  Battery driven handheld devices displaying AMI’s smartMovetm EAP technology

·  A smartMove energy harvesting demonstration.

·  AMI’s first standard product, the MLP-85 camera auto focus actuator.

·  Omnidirectional planar actuator.

·  other demos

USA and Japan,  SRI International and Hyper Drive Corp., Japan

Philip von Guggenberg SRI International


·  Mikio Waki of Hyper Drive Corp., Japan

·  Roy Kornbluh, SRI International

Demonstration of an EPAM-based Watermill Generator for Harvesting Energy from moving streams.



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