Insects utilize resonant actuation to amplify the flapping stroke and improve the energy efficiency. The inherent elasticity in dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) offers the advantage over conventional actuators of achieving resonant actuation with no additional elastic elements required. Despite that the resonant actuation of the DEAs have attracted great research interests, no optimization has been done on the output performance of resonating DEAs. In this work, a double cone DEA (DCDEA) configuration is adopted and a numerical model is developed to characterize its dynamic response. An effective power study framework is developed and the power output of the DCDEA is optimized against its pre-stretch ratios and spacer length. To demonstrate the potential exploitation of resonant DEA performance, a bioinspired flapping wing mechanism driven by the optimized DCDEA design is developed with a peak flapping stroke of 31˚ at its resonance of 30 Hz.
- dielectric elastomer actuator
- power optimization
- dynamic modelling
- resonant actuation
- flapping wing robots