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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 24, Number 2, August 2019, pages 223-231

Design, modelling and analysis of a new type of IPMC motor
Jakub Kotota

    The properties of Electroactive Polymer (EAP) materials are attracting the attention of engineers and scientists from many different disciplines. From the point-of-view of robotics, Ionic Polymer Metal Composites (IPMC) belong to the most developed group of the EAP class. To allow effective design of IPMC-actuated mechanisms with large induced strains, it is necessary to have adequate analytical tools for predicting the behavior of IPMC actuators as well as simulating their response as part of prototyping methodologies. This paper presents a novel IPMC motor construction. To simulate the bending behavior that is the dominant phenomenon of motor movement process, a nonlinear model is used. To accomplish the motor design, the IPMC model was identified via a series of experiments. In the proposed model, the curvature output and current transient fields accurately track the measured responses, which is verified by measurements. In this research, a three-dimensional Finite Element Method (FEM) model of the IPMC motor, composed of IPMC actuators, simultaneously determines the mechanical and electrical characteristics of the device and achieves reliable analysis results. The principle of the proposed drive and the output signals are illustrated in this paper. The proposed modelling approach can be used to design a variety of controllers and motors for effective micro-robotic applications, where soft and complex motion are required.
Key Words
     Electroactive polymer;IPMC; FEM; motor
Jakub Kotota: Faculty of Computing, Poznan University of Technology ul. Piotrowo 3A, 60-965 Poznan, Poland

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