March 31, 2015

Phenomena of nonlinear oscillation and special resonance of a dielectric elastomer minimum energy structure rotary joint

(March 31, 2015)  The dielectric elastomer minimum energy structure can realize large angular deformations by a small voltage-induced strain of the dielectric elastomer, so it is a suitable candidate to make a rotary joint for a soft robot. Driven with an alternating electric field, the joint deformation vibrational frequency follows the input voltage frequency. However, the authors find that if the rotational inertia increases such that the inertial torque makes the frame deform over a negative angle, then the joint motion will become complicated and the vibrational mode will alter with the change of voltage frequency. The vibration with the largest amplitude does not occur while the voltage frequency is equal to natural response frequency of the joint.

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