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Sensors, Actuators and their modeling in a fiber-reinforced biomimetic fish-fin

Thursday (24.09.2020)
12:05 - 12:20 Z: Special Symposia II
Part of:

Interactive fiber rubber composites are a promising material for biomimetic and soft robotic applications. In these structures, the combination of sensors and actuators is of upmost importance in order to allow precise, programmable motion and reactions to the environment. Therefore, a fish-fin inspired soft robot is developed that incorporates fast dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) with a sensor functionalized reinforcement textile in a soft matrix system. Similar to an internal skeleton, the reinforcement textile gives stability and promotes deformation in the desired direction. The DEAs offer high speed and high strain soft actuation making the mechanical support structure the limiting factor for the robot’s movement. The robot itself performs a bending movement similar to a real fish-fin that is driven by the DEAs on both sides of it. Through embroidering the sensor yarns on the reinforcement textile, a good bond between the mechanical structure and the sensors in achieved. The resulting combination of actuator, mechanical structure and integrated sensor system can be modeled as an equivalent circuit. This is advantageous as all three domains (electrical, rotational and translational) can be incorporated and subsequently analyzed in one model. The theoretical results obtained with the equivalent circuit model are compared to experimental results. Therefore, precise optical tracking of the fish-fin’s motion under varying actuation frequencies is combined with electrical resistance measurements of the two sensors. Finally, with the results of both theoretical and experimental investigations of the fish-fin robot, an outlook on how the presented methodology can be used for more complex systems is given.

Additional Authors:
  • Sascha Pfeil
    TU Dresden
  • Dr. Andreas Nocke
    TU Dresden
  • Prof. Dr. Chokri Cherif
    TU Dresden
  • Prof. Dr. Gerald Gerlach
    TU Dresden