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Power for robotic artificial muscles

Power for robotic artificial muscles
Power for robotic artificial muscles
Artificial muscles based on the dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) are an attractive technology for autonomous robotic systems. We are currently exploring their use on EcoBot (Ecological roBot), an autonomous robot being developed by Bristol Robotics Lab that uses microbial fuel cells (MFCs). DEA will provide actuators for fuel cell maintenance and other goals and will increase active mission time through greater mechanical efficiency and reduced mass. Artificial muscles use high voltages and running them normally requires voltage converters to boost the voltage on delivered charge several hundred times. A dielectric elastomer generator (DEG) when used with a recently developed self-priming circuit (SPC) can supply the high-voltage power directly to artificial muscle systems. The SPC can also be started using an initial low-voltage charge from another energy harvester such as a bank of MFCs or a solar cell array. This combination could lead to a completely autonomous power source for robotic artificial muscles. We demonstrate a proof-of-concept portable self-primed DEG for harvesting wind energy from moving tree branches.
Dielectric elastomer, energy harvesting, fuel cells (FCs), power generation, robots
1083-4435
107-111
Anderson, Iain A.
1839d707-2895-43af-8fd5-fd2f70ce3dc1
Ieropoulos, Ioannis A.
6c580270-3e08-430a-9f49-7fbe869daf13
McKay, Thomas
37a76efd-03ae-492f-99f0-d02d568daabf
O'Brien, Benjamin
43fd7820-59f7-4c10-b2bb-28b2896a8ec2
Melhuish, Chris
c52dcc8b-1e36-425e-80df-9d05d2b21893
Anderson, Iain A.
1839d707-2895-43af-8fd5-fd2f70ce3dc1
Ieropoulos, Ioannis A.
6c580270-3e08-430a-9f49-7fbe869daf13
McKay, Thomas
37a76efd-03ae-492f-99f0-d02d568daabf
O'Brien, Benjamin
43fd7820-59f7-4c10-b2bb-28b2896a8ec2
Melhuish, Chris
c52dcc8b-1e36-425e-80df-9d05d2b21893

Anderson, Iain A., Ieropoulos, Ioannis A., McKay, Thomas, O'Brien, Benjamin and Melhuish, Chris (2010) Power for robotic artificial muscles. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 16 (1), 107-111. (doi:10.1109/TMECH.2010.2090894).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Artificial muscles based on the dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) are an attractive technology for autonomous robotic systems. We are currently exploring their use on EcoBot (Ecological roBot), an autonomous robot being developed by Bristol Robotics Lab that uses microbial fuel cells (MFCs). DEA will provide actuators for fuel cell maintenance and other goals and will increase active mission time through greater mechanical efficiency and reduced mass. Artificial muscles use high voltages and running them normally requires voltage converters to boost the voltage on delivered charge several hundred times. A dielectric elastomer generator (DEG) when used with a recently developed self-priming circuit (SPC) can supply the high-voltage power directly to artificial muscle systems. The SPC can also be started using an initial low-voltage charge from another energy harvester such as a bank of MFCs or a solar cell array. This combination could lead to a completely autonomous power source for robotic artificial muscles. We demonstrate a proof-of-concept portable self-primed DEG for harvesting wind energy from moving tree branches.

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More information

Published date: 30 December 2010
Keywords: Dielectric elastomer, energy harvesting, fuel cells (FCs), power generation, robots

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 454659
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/454659
ISSN: 1083-4435
PURE UUID: 8bc6d2c3-fa1d-4e84-8a6d-888256771602
ORCID for Ioannis A. Ieropoulos: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9641-5504

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Feb 2022 17:34
Last modified: 19 Feb 2022 02:58

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Contributors

Author: Iain A. Anderson
Author: Thomas McKay
Author: Benjamin O'Brien
Author: Chris Melhuish

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