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Soft Robotic Manipulation and Locomotion with a 3D Printed Electroactive Hydrogel

  • Daehoon Han
    Daehoon Han
    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    More by Daehoon Han
  • Cindy Farino
    Cindy Farino
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    More by Cindy Farino
  • Chen Yang
    Chen Yang
    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    More by Chen Yang
  • Tracy Scott
    Tracy Scott
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    More by Tracy Scott
  • Daniel Browe
    Daniel Browe
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    More by Daniel Browe
  • Wonjoon Choi
    Wonjoon Choi
    School of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
    More by Wonjoon Choi
  • Joseph W. Freeman
    Joseph W. Freeman
    Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
  • , and 
  • Howon Lee*
    Howon Lee
    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States
    *E-mail: [email protected]
    More by Howon Lee
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2018, 10, 21, 17512–17518
Publication Date (Web):May 9, 2018
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Electroactive hydrogels (EAH) that exhibit large deformation in response to an electric field have received great attention as a potential actuating material for soft robots and artificial muscle. However, their application has been limited due to the use of traditional two-dimensional (2D) fabrication methods. Here we present soft robotic manipulation and locomotion with 3D printed EAH microstructures. Through 3D design and precise dimensional control enabled by a digital light processing (DLP) based micro 3D printing technique, complex 3D actuations of EAH are achieved. We demonstrate soft robotic actuations including gripping and transporting an object and a bidirectional locomotion.

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    Supporting Information

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b04250.

    • Materials and reagents; PμSL method for 3D printing EAH; study on the exposure energy of PμSL and the depth of cure of the photocurable precursor solution for EAH; postprinting process for a 3D printed EAH structure; swelling ratios and water contents of EAH at different ionic strengths of electrolyte; method to characterize the electroresponsive actuation; effect of characteristic thickness on actuation time scale; calculation of bending strain from bending curvature of an EAH beam; detailed dimensions of the 3D printed EAH structures; moving distance of the object in transporter demonstration; digital image analysis method to determine a center of gravity of the locomotor (PDF)

    • Video S1, bending of an electroactive hydrogel beam in an electric field (AVI)

    • Video S2, gripping motion of the 3D printed EAH gripper(AVI)

    • Video S3, moving an object using a 3D printed EAH structure (AVI)

    • Video S4, bidirectional locomotion of the 3D printed humanlike EAH structure (AVI)

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