The hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuator is an emerging driving component for soft robotics, which is composed of a flexible dielectric polymer shell that is partially covered by conductive electrodes and filled with a liquid dielectric. However, the low permittivity and dielectric strength of the polymer shell remain a challenge that limits the actuator performance. Herein, a Peano-hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic actuator is constructed by innovatively integrating a bilayer polymer shell for combined favorable properties of high dielectric strength, dielectric permittivity, and elastic modulus. Compared with a traditional single-layer shell actuator, the new bilayer actuator architecture generates an increased strain (164%) at 5 kV and improves load-bearing capability (620 mN) at 6 kV, thereby providing a significantly enhanced actuation performance. The new actuator is further applied in driving a ratchet system, which converts the reciprocating motion of the actuator into a rotating motion and a flexible output torque, in order to protect the rotating components from impact. The high strain and load characteristics of the bilayer configuration and the easy-to-deform characteristics of the new actuator design make it an attractive approach to fabricate complex geometries and achieve a variety of motion modes in soft systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100239
JournalAdvanced Intelligent Systems
Issue number5
Early online date20 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


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