Modular simulation framework for Electro-ribbon Actuators

Bruno Castro, Richard Suphapol Diteesawat, Majid Taghavi, Jonathan M Rossiter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

1 Citation (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)


The Electro-ribbon Actuator (ERA) is a new class of soft robotic actuator that is light weight, low cost and has high contraction strain. The combination of compliance and dielectrophoretic liquid zipping introduces significant nonlinearity to the ERA and makes modelling challenging. This article introduces a lumped-parameter model (LPM) to simulate the actuation behavior and performance of ERAs. The ERA is made of two flexible opposite insulated electrodes attached together at both ends. The application of a bead of liquid dielectric to the attaching points of the electrodes provides a large force amplification and enables high contraction over 99% and high force-to-weight ratio. The proposed method can simulate a flexible and deformable beam, the main structure of the ERA, predicting the ERA's deformation under external loads with <; 5% errors. It computes the electrostatic force generated between two elec-trodes and simulates the zipping behaviour. A multiphysics finite element analysis has been performed to validate the model and, a comparison is show with the experimental data in a series of stationary and time-dependent tests. This work provides a rapid route to design and modelling of future soft robots and soft machines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 4th International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-7713-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-7714-4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021
EventRobosoft 2021: IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics -
Duration: 12 Apr 202116 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics
ISSN (Print)2769-4526
ISSN (Electronic)2769-4534


ConferenceRobosoft 2021


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