Stretchable Electroadhesion for Soft Robots
With the ongoing rise of soft robots there emerges a need for new soft robotic technologies that can cope with hyper-flexibility and stretchability. In this paper, we describe our developments on enabling controllable adhesion, namely electroadhesion, for the use in soft robots. We present a method to manufacture stretchable electroadhesive pads and characterize their performance when stretching the pad more than double its original length. Our results suggest that the normal detachment force per area slightly decreases with the stretching, while the shear detachment force per area increase with the stretch ratio. These results imply that stretchable electroadhesive pads have higher adaptivity to a given task compared to non-stretchable pads, because the stretchable pads are adaptable in terms of their mechanical stiffness as well as their adhesive force.