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Development of sensors for soft material structures

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fumiya Iida.

Elastomers are well known soft materials for different applications. Elastomers you can often find in our daily life. Traditionally dampers, sealing or tires are commercial products made of elastomers; tubes and implants are typical medical produces. Thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) are elastomers, which can be shaped by thermoplastic processing like extrusion or injection molding. Often those TPEs are used to improve the soft-touch; for tools or grip of a ski-sticks. Soft materials can be filled with inorganic materials to functionalize; those materials. Magnetic particles are used to achieve magnetorheological dampers. The stiffness of such dampers can be controlled with a magnetic field. Electrical conductive fillers can be used to achieve piezoresistive sensors or chemical detectors. Over the last twenty years, electroactive polymer (EAP), based on elastomer capacitors, have been investigated. With this kind of EAPs, synthetic muscles where successfully developed. EAPs cannot only used for actuation, they can also be used as piezoresitive sensors. To achieve those hybrid materials, typically inorganic particles are dispersed in a elastomer matrix material. This lecture will give an overview on some elastomer based smart materials, their principles and the drawback of those developments.

This talk is part of the Robotics Seminar Series series.

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