Active-elastic bistable minimum energy structures

Maurizio Follador*, Andrew T Conn, Barbara Mazzolai, Jonathan M Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The design of structures that combine the principles of minimum energy and bistable mechanisms is presented. A minimum energy configuration is achieved by the interaction of one or more elastic elements and two strips of stretched elastomer, which also operate as dielectric actuators. The system has two equilibrium states, and the actuators are used to trigger the switch from one state to the other. An analytical model, based on the approach of energy minimization, was implemented to assist the design of the geometrical parameters. A prototype shows bistability and is able to switch equilibrium state varying its bending angle from -40° to 40°.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141903
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2014

Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception


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