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Electrically controllable connection and power transfer by electroadhesion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 29 Aug 2019


Reconfigurable smart structures and robots require interconnects that enable the transfer of forces, power and data from one modular element to another. This is typically achieved through magnetic coupling, mechanical clips and male–female electrical contacts. In lightweight structures however, these methods are impractical due to weight and complexity. In this work we present an electroadhesive coupling (EAC) controllable interfacial connection for joining lightweight modular components, which enable simultaneous mechanical joining and electrical pass-through connections for power and communication. Active adhesion and power transfer are realized by electroadhesion (EA) using conducting electrodes on lightweight materials such as papers. We present the underlying EAC concept, materials and structures, and demonstrate this new approach using origami and kirigami structures to fabricate a modular EAC bridge and a modular EAC cuboid structural interconnection system. These novel structures have the potential for application in lightweight robotics, space systems, deployable and self-assembling and self-disassembling systems.

    Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception

    Research areas

  • active connection, active power transfer, electroadhesion, electroadhesive interconnect

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via IOP Science at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 1.31 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY


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