Liquid metal spiral coil enabled soft electromagnetic actuator
Soft robot is a kind of machine form with flexible deformation capability. Making flexible actuators has recently become a hot research topic in the field. In this study, we demonstrated the facile fabrication of a soft electromagnetic actuator using liquid metal coil of Ga-In alloys, and designed several illustrative mechanical devices, such as jellyfish like robot, soft fishtail and flexible manipulator. Measurements of the liquid metal coil’s electrical properties confirmed that the liquid metal coil was mechanically stable under 48% uniaxial strains. Furthermore, the resistance of the liquid metal coil is stable under 60° bending deformation. Tests on the liquid metal coil’s driving properties confirmed that the liquid metal coil (55 mm×55 mm×1 mm) could reach the maximum displacement amplitude of 21.5 mm with the current of 0.48 A. It was shown that the electromagnetic interaction between the magnet and the liquid metal coil enables the coil as a highly efficient actuator. The mechanisms lying behind were interpreted and future applications of such system were discussed.
Keywordsliquid metal soft machine electromagnetic actuator magnet artificial system
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