Origami-inspired folding assembly of dielectric elastomers for programmable soft robots

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Yanhua Sun
  • Mengge Wu
  • Yale Yang
  • Jingyou Su
  • Kangming Xu
  • Ying Li
  • Lu Li
  • Junsheng Yu

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Journal / PublicationMicrosystems and Nanoengineering
Volume8
Online published31 Mar 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 31 Mar 2022

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Abstract

Origami has become an optimal methodological choice for creating complex three-dimensional (3D) structures and soft robots. The simple and low-cost origami-inspired folding assembly provides a new method for developing 3D soft robots, which is ideal for future intelligent robotic systems. Here, we present a series of materials, structural designs, and fabrication methods for developing independent, electrically controlled origami 3D soft robots for walking and soft manipulators. The 3D soft robots are based on soft actuators, which are multilayer structures with a dielectric elastomer (DE) film as the deformation layer and a laser-cut PET film as the supporting flexible frame. The triangular and rectangular design of the soft actuators allows them to be easily assembled into crawling soft robots and pyramidal- and square-shaped 3D structures. The crawling robot exhibits very stable crawling behaviors and can carry loads while walking. Inspired by origami folding, the pyramidal and square-shaped 3D soft robots exhibit programmable out-of-plane deformations and easy switching between two-dimensional (2D) and 3D structures. The electrically controllable origami deformation allows the 3D soft robots to be used as soft manipulators for grasping and precisely locking 3D objects. This work proves that origami-inspired fold-based assembly of DE actuators is a good reference for the development of soft actuators and future intelligent multifunctional soft robots.

Research Area(s)

Citation Format(s)

Origami-inspired folding assembly of dielectric elastomers for programmable soft robots. / Sun, Yanhua; Li, Dengfeng; Wu, Mengge; Yang, Yale; Su, Jingyou; Wong, Tszhung; Xu, Kangming; Li, Ying; Li, Lu; Yu, Xinge; Yu, Junsheng.

In: Microsystems and Nanoengineering, Vol. 8, 37, 01.12.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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