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Elastic Actuation for Legged Locomotion

Research output: ResearchConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
EditorsYoseph Bar-Cohen
Place of PublicationPortland, Oregon, US
Publisher or commissioning bodySPIE
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781510608122
ISBN (Print)9781510608115
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2017
EventElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017 - Portland, United States
Duration: 25 Mar 201529 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
PublisherSociety of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceElectroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
CountryUnited States


The inherent elasticity of dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) gives this technology great potential in energy efficient locomotion applications. In this work, a modular double cone DEA is developed with reduced manufacturing and maintenance time costs. This actuator can lift 45 g of mass (5 times its own weight) while producing a stroke of 10.4 mm (23.6% its height). The contribution of the elastic energy stored in antagonistic DEA membranes to the mechanical work output is experimentally investigated by adding delay into the DEA driving voltage. Increasing the delay time in actuation voltage and hence reducing the duty cycle is found to increase the amount of elastic energy being recovered but an upper limit is also noticed. The DEA is then applied to a three-segment leg that is able to move up and down by 17.9 mm (9% its initial height), which demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing this DEA design in legged locomotion.

    Research areas

  • dielectric elastomer actuators, elastic energy recovery, legged locomotion


Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017: Proc. SPIE 10163

Duration25 Mar 201529 Mar 2017
CountryUnited States

Event: Conference

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via SPIE at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 842 KB, PDF-document

    License: CC BY-NC


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