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Science. 2018 Jan 5;359(6371):61-65. doi: 10.1126/science.aao6139.

Hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuators with muscle-like performance.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. christoph.keplinger@colorado.edu.
3
Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.

Abstract

Existing soft actuators have persistent challenges that restrain the potential of soft robotics, highlighting a need for soft transducers that are powerful, high-speed, efficient, and robust. We describe a class of soft actuators, termed hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) actuators, which harness a mechanism that couples electrostatic and hydraulic forces to achieve a variety of actuation modes. We introduce prototypical designs of HASEL actuators and demonstrate their robust, muscle-like performance as well as their ability to repeatedly self-heal after dielectric breakdown-all using widely available materials and common fabrication techniques. A soft gripper handling delicate objects and a self-sensing artificial muscle powering a robotic arm illustrate the wide potential of HASEL actuators for next-generation soft robotic devices.

PMID:
29302008
DOI:
10.1126/science.aao6139

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