Lightweight and Efficient Actuation of Robots Using Electroadhesive Clutches

S. Diller, C. Majidi
ESTAT Actuation, United States

Keywords: Actuator, Lightweight, Efficient, Clutch, Electroadhesive

Lightweight, mobile, and wearable robots have the potential to revolutionize military operations and medical care. However, robotics engineers are held back substantially by the lack of actuation hardware that is powerful, lightweight, and efficient. At ESTAT Actuation, we’re using electroadhesive clutch technology that is 10x lighter and uses 1000x less power than conventional clutches to dramatically reduce the overall weight, energy consumption, and cost of actuators. Our goal is to provide engineers with powerful actuation hardware that makes their robot or machine more dynamic, capable, and affordable. This poster will present our design and characterization of electroadhesive clutches, as well as preliminary implementations in wearable robotics. From a recent study of design parameters performed at Carnegie Mellon University, we can predict the performance of new electroadhesive clutch implementations in a broad variety of use cases. These results will allow potential DOD users to quickly evaluate the quantitative gains they could achieve by employing electroadhesive clutches in their device hardware.