On the mechanical power output comparisons of cone dielectric elastomer actuators

Chongjing Cao, Lijin Chen, Wenke Duan, Tom L Hill, Bo Li, Guimin Chen, Hui Li, Yingtian Li, Lei Wang, Xing Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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The emerging demand for bio-inspired soft robotics requires novel soft actuators whose performance exceeds conventional rigid ones. Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are a promising soft actuation technology with large actuation strain and fast response. Cone DEAs are one of the most widely adopted DEA configurations for their compact structure and large force/stroke output with several configuration variations developed in recent years. By driving at a resonant frequency, the cone DEAs show a significant amplification in their power outputs, which demonstrates their suitability for highly dynamic robotic applications. However, it is still unclear how the payload conditions could affect the power outputs of cone DEAs and no work has compared the output performance of different variations of cone configurations. In this work, by considering conical configuration DEAs with generalized dissipative payloads, we conduct an extensive study on the effects of payload conditions on the power outputs of the cone DEA family. Additionally, we benchmark the performance of different cone DEA configurations and illustrate the fundamental principles behind these output patterns. The findings reported in this work establish guidelines for designing high-performance cone DEA actuators.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2021


  • Strain
  • Payloads
  • Electrodes
  • Robots
  • Stress
  • Soft robotics
  • Springs
  • Conical Configuration
  • Dielectric Elastomer Actuators
  • Power Output
  • Resonant Actuation

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