Auckland Bioengineering Institute
Biomimetics is the imitation of natural systems to solve problems and develop new technology. It is extensively used in the pharmaceutical and robotics industries, where it can inspire lucrative advances in the fields.
The Biomimetics Laboratory has a strong focus on artificial muscles (technically known as Dielectric Elastomers). Our current research includes control, power generation, and soft sensors using dielectric elastomers. See videos showing some of our work here.
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The Biomimetics Laboratory’s two artificial muscle motors are depicted in this video: the orbiting gear motor and the all-rubber “Flexi-drive” motor.
Artificial muscle has similar characteristics to real muscle, although it is forty times more powerful by weight. The lab is researching control and sensing of artificial muscle, human-artificial muscle interfacing, and implementation of artificial muscle into health care and prosthetic products.
To find why we are investigating this exciting field read our introduction to artificial muscle technology.
- Ion implanted dielectric elastomer circuits, O'Brien, B.M., Rosset, S., Anderson, I.A., Shea, H.R., Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, pp. 1-8. 2012.
- Multi-functional dielectric elastomer artificial muscles for soft and smart machines, Anderson, I.A., Gisby, T.A., McKay, T.G., O'Brien, B.M., Calius, E.P., Journal of Applied Physics, 112 (4), art. no. 041101, 2012.
- Rotating turkeys and self-commutating artificial muscle motors, O'Brien, B.M., McKay, T.G., Gisby, T.A., Anderson, I.A., Applied Physics Letters, 100 (7), art. no. 074108, 2012.
- An artificial muscle ring oscillator, O'Brien, B.M.; Anderson, I.A., IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol.17, no.1, pp.197,200, 2012.
- Soft generators using dielectric elastomers, McKay T.G., O’Brien B., Calius E.P., and Anderson I.A., Applied Physics Letters, 98(14), 142903, 2011.
- A soft and dexterous motor, Anderson, I.A., Tse, T., Inamura, T., O'Brien, B.M., McKay, T.G., Gisby, T., Applied Physics Letters, 98(12), 123704, 2011.
- Power for robotic artificial muscles, Anderson, I.A., Ieropoulos, I., McKay, T., O'Brien, B., and Melhuish, C., IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, 16(1), pp.107-111, 2011
- Dielectric elastomer switches for smart artificial muscles, O’Brien B., Calius E.P., Inamura T., Xie S. and Anderson I.A., in: Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing, 2010, Rapid Communication.
- An integrated, self-priming dielectric elastomer generator, McKay T.G., O’Brien B., Calius E.P., and Anderson I.A., in: Applied Physics Letters, 2010.
- Self-priming dielectric elastomer generators, McKay , T.G., O’Brien , B., Calius , E.P., and Anderson , I.A., in: Smart Materials and Structures, 19 055025, 2010
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