Electro-lattice actuator: a compliant high-contractile active lattice structure

Chiu Mun S Hoh, Tim N Helps, Richard Suphapol Diteesawat, Majid Taghavi, Jonathan M Rossiter*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)
109 Downloads (Pure)


Electro-ribbon actuators are high-performance electrically-driven artificial muscles with high flexibility, low mass, low power consumption, high contraction, and high force-to-weight ratio. They show great promise for driving the deployment of compact folding structures. This article presents the electro-lattice actuator (ELA), a compliant, three-dimensional, free-standing lattice structure that uses this phenomenon to contract to a flat sheet upon the application of a potential difference. The ELA was designed in the form of multiple interconnected buckled structures and fabricated using polyvinyl chloride sheets and tape and copper electrodes. The ELA structure was pre-set into an open-cell configuration by annealing in an oven. Isometric testing at varying compressions showed that the tensile stress of the proposed lattice actuator reaches a maximum of 184 Pa (a 472 Pa change in tensile stress compared with its unactuated state). A cuboid shaped ELA (13.6 cm length × 10.0 cm width × 5.4 cm height) achieved a contraction of 92.6% and a contraction rate of 35.6% s−1. The novel ELA opens up the use of electro-ribbon actuation to more complex and more effective 3D actuating and deploying structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125034
Number of pages9
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the . Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000266 EP/L015293/1 EP/M020460/1 EP/R02961X/1 EP/S026096/1 Royal Society http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000288 ERA Foundation Translation Award TA\R1\170060 Office of the Chief Science Adviser for National Security UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellowship Royal Academy of Engineering http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000287 Chair in Emerging Technologies Scheme UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellowship yes � 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • electro-ribbon actuator
  • electro-lattice actuator
  • lattice
  • contraction
  • soft actuator
  • zipping actuator


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