Prosthesis design driven by electroactive polymers
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Applications of dielectric elastomer (DE) actuators are presented in this paper. Dielectric elastomers (a type of electroactive polymer) are one the most promising smart materials. They consist of two flexible electrodes and a dielectric film between them. After applying voltage (3–5 kV) to the electrodes, the thickness of the polymer layer lowers. Changes of the thickness can be indirectly measured , enabling the element to work as a sensor. A self-sensing and energy harvesting elements are also described. Two applications are described – an active orthosis and a force feedback device.
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