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RESEARCH ARTICLE SOFT ROBOTS

Peano-HASEL actuators: Muscle-mimetic, electrohydraulic transducers that linearly contract


on activation
Nicholas Kellaris1,2, Vidyacharan Gopaluni Venkata1, Garrett M. Smith1, Shane K. Mitchell1 and Christoph Keplinger1,2,*
+ See all authors and a liations

Science Robotics  05 Jan 2018:


Vol. 3, Issue 14, eaar3276
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aar3276

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Abstract
Soft robotic systems are well suited to unstructured, dynamic tasks and environments, owing to their ability to adapt and
conform without damaging themselves or their surroundings. These abilities are crucial in areas such as human-robot
interaction. Soft robotic systems are currently limited by the soft actuators that power them. To date, most soft actuators
are based on pneumatics or shape-memory alloys, which have issues with e ciency, response speed, and portability.
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are controlled and powered electrically and excel with muscle-like actuation, but they
typically require a rigid frame and prestretch to perform effectively. In addition, DEAs require complex stacks or structures
to achieve linear contraction modes. We present a class of soft electrohydraulic transducers, termed Peano-HASEL
(hydraulically ampli ed self-healing electrostatic) actuators, that combine the strengths of uidic actuators and
electrostatic actuators, while addressing many of their issues. These actuators use both electrostatic and hydraulic
principles to linearly contract on application of voltage in a muscle-like fashion, without rigid frames, prestretch, or stacked
con gurations. We fabricated these actuators using a facile heat-sealing method with inexpensive commercially available
materials. These prototypical devices demonstrated controllable linear contraction up to 10%, a strain rate of 900% per
second, actuation at 50 hertz, and the ability to lift more than 200 times their weight. In addition, these actuators featured
characteristics such as high optical transparency and the ability to self-sense their deformation state. Hence, this class of
actuators demonstrates promise for applications such as active prostheses, medical and industrial automation, and
autonomous robotic devices.

Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government
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Science Robotics
Vol 3, Issue 14
31 January 2018

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