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Electroactive Polymers for Robotic Applications: Artificial Muscles and Sensors

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Electroactive polymers (EAPs) respond to electrical stimulation with large deformations. They are dynamic actuators which have attracted attention from an interdisciplinary audience of engineers and scientists. An enabling EAP technology is emerging which attempts to imitate the properties of natural muscle and which, as a result, can perform a unique function in a variety of biologically-inspired robotics applications.

Electroactive Polymers for Robotics Applications covers the fundamental properties, modelling and demonstration of EAPs in robotic applications, focusing particularly on artificial muscles and sensors. Ionic Polymer–Metal Composite Actuators and Dielectric Elastomers are discussed within the book with chapters on their properties and their uses in robotics applications.

With its concentration on devices based on EAPs and their uses, Electroactive Polymers for Robotics Applications will be of interest to researchers working within this field as well as to postgraduate students studying robotics or smart materials and structures. Practitioners working in the mechanical, electrical and materials industries will also find this book of value.

About the Author

Dr. Kwang Kim is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Active Materials and Processing Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He graduated from Yonsei University, Korea, in 1987 and received his MS and Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1989 and 1992, respectively. He later completed a postdoctoral study at the Center for Environmental Energy Engineering (CEEE) at the University of Maryland-College Park (1993-1995). His industrial experience includes Senior Research Engineer at Thermal Electric Devices, Inc. (1995-1997) and Chief Scientist at Environmental Robots, Inc. (1997-2001), Albuquerque NM. He has published over 130 technical papers and holds 2 patents. His research and teaching interests are broad based, but mainly in Active Materials/Sensors, Thermal Sciences/Energy Systems, and Nanotechnology. Currently he actively participates in organizing conferences including "SPIE-Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices", "Biomimetics and Artificial Muscle and Nano-Bio", and "Solid State Hydrogen Storage.

Dr. Satoshi Tadokoro is President of the International Rescue System Institute, in Kobe, Japan. He is also a Professor in the Department of Computer and Systems Engineering at Kobe University where he has been employed for over twenty years. He teaches about actuator theory, mechatronics and intelligent machine theory. Dr. Tadokoro gained his MS and his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Tokyo. His research interests include: rescue robots, robotics and actuators.

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