Journal article

An Artificial Muscle Ring Oscillator

Dielectric elastomer artificialmuscles have great potential for the creation of novel pumps, motors, and circuitry. Control of these devices requires an oscillator, either as a driver or clock circuit, which is typically provided as part of bulky, rigid, and costly external electronics. Oscillator circuits based on piezo-resistive dielectric elastomer switch technology provide a way to embed oscillatory behavior into artificial muscle devices. Previous oscillator circuits were not digital, able to function without a spring mass system, able to self-start, or suitable for miniaturization. In this paper we present an artificial muscle ring oscillator that meets these needs. The oscillator can self-start, create a stable 1Hz square wave output, and continue to function despite degradation of the switching elements. Additionally, the oscillator provides a platform against which the performance of different dielectric elastomer switch materials can be benchmarked.

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