Part of the book: Recent Advances in Wireless Communications and Networks
Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are lightweight and high-power, making them ideal for power control in a planetary exploration spacecraft. In this chapter, we will discuss the control of an exploration airplane exploring the surface of Mars using DEs. This airplane requires lightweight and powerful actuators to fly in the rare Martian atmosphere. DEs are a possible candidate for use as actuator controlling the airplane since they have high power, and high efficiency. A structural model of a wing having a control surface, a DE, and a linkage was built and a wind tunnel test of a control surface actuation using a DE actuator was carried out.
Part of the book: Solar System Planets and Exoplanets
The need for light, high-strength, and artificial muscles is growing rapidly. A well-known type of artificial muscle meeting these requirements is the dielectric elastic (DE) type, which uses electrostatic force between electrodes. In hopes of utilizing, it practically for a variety of purposes, research and development is rapidly progressing all over the world as a technology for practical use. Much of the market demand is dominated by more output-focused applications such as DE power suits, DE motors, DE muscles for robots, and larger DE power systems. To meet these demands, the elasticity of the elastomer is very important. In this paper, we discussed what the important factors are for SS curves, viscoelasticity tests, etc. of the dielectric elastomer materials. Recent attempts have been also made to use new carbon foam materials such as SWCNTs and MWCNTs as electrodes for DEs. These electrodes bring the elastomers to a higher level of performance.
Part of the book: Elasticity of Materials
Most of the conventional sensors used for measuring deformation, pressure, etc., use metal, ceramics, piezo, or the like. Many of them are very rigid, and when the object is deformed or when the pressure on the object changes currently, it is necessary to arrange a large number of sensors with different conditions side by side. However, it is still difficult to measure all changes over time. With the newly developed dielectric elastomer sensor, even a very thin (0.1–0.2 mm) elastomer thickness could be deformed in difficult environments (e.g., places with large temperature changes or large vibrations), and it would be possible to measure any pressure changes due to its deformation. By applying this sensor, it can be used as a position sensor (including a three-dimensional sensor) or an acceleration sensor, so that it could be applied to the control of the arms and legs of a robot, smart shoes, and the like.
Part of the book: Human-Robot Interaction