The rapid development of smart material technology and hand held devices (for example VR controller, mobile devices) has created high demand for shape changing interfaces in order to provide users with more functions in less space and improved usability. However, the fundamental incompatibility between flexible displays and rigid actuator components has brought a huge barrier for commercialization of this technology. This seminar addresses a flexible and bendable vibrotactile actuator that can be easily applied to shape changing hand-held devices. One of the best-established technologies for flexible vibrotactile actuators is to use electroactive polymers (EAPs). There are two types of EAPs, ionic type and non-ionic type. In an ionic EAP, the movement of ions inside the polymer creates its actuation. Ionic EAPs allow relatively low input voltage, but they require high electric power (high electric current) for operation because high energy is necessary to maintain their deformed shape. Another problem is that their actuation force is not sufficiently strong to allow for clear perception. In contrast, non-ionic EAPs, for example, dielectric EAPs, have been researched with a keen interest for vibrotactile actuators owing to their fast response and high operational efficiency. However, non-ionic EAPs require a pre-stretching or multi- stacking process to be able to create large force enough to stimulate human mechanoreceptors. This strategy brought a new issue for low durability and/or a complex manufacturing process. This seminar addresses a robust and flexible vibrotactile actuator using an electro-active plasticized PVC to solve the problem.
Location: Online Virtual Webinar
Region: Southwest United States
LMAG: Galveston Bay