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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Robot. AI | doi: 10.3389/frobt.2019.00129

A compact review of IPMC as soft actuator and sensor: current trends, challenges and potential solutions from our recent works.

Muyu Hao1,  Yanjie Wang1*,  Zicai Zhu2, Qingsong He3, 4,  Denglin Zhu1 and Minzhou Luo1
  • 1Hohai University, China
  • 2Xi'an Jiaotong University, China
  • 3Nanjing University, China
  • 4Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China

Recently, Ionic polymer metal composites (IPMC), becoming an increasingly ionic artificial muscle, are used as soft actuators for its inherent properties of light weight, flexibility, softness, especial efficient transformation from electrical energy to mechanical energy with large bending strain response under low activation voltage. In this paper, we reviewed several defects to restrict IPMC applications, such as non-standardized preparation steps, relaxation under DC voltage, solvent evaporation and low blocking force etc. Corresponding solutions were proposed and developed recently to overcome above mentioned problems. The working mechanism and preparation process of IPMC were firstly clarified. After that, we investigated the main factors which influence the actuating performance of IPMC. We also reviewed the optimization strategies in IPMC actuation, including improving preparation steps, increasing thickness of base membrane and selecting suitable additives in electrolyte layer, replacing water with ionic liquids as solvent, controlling water content and encapsulating etc. Taking into account the role of the interface electrode, the effects of interfacial electrode on the performance of IPMC are revealed based on our previous work. Finally, we also discussed IPMC as sensors theoretically and experimentally. The defect elimination will promote IPMC applications in soft robotics.

Keywords: IPMC, Relaxation effect, Solvent evaporation, Blocking force, soft robotics

Received: 04 Sep 2019; Accepted: 08 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Hao, Wang, Zhu, He, Zhu and Luo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yanjie Wang, Hohai University, Nanjing, 210098, Jiangsu Province, China, yjwang@hhu.edu.cn