Soft Electrohydraulic Actuators for Shape Changing Interfaces

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These soft actuators can bend like a hinge.

In this work, we present electrohydraulic actuators for origami inspired shape-changing interfaces, which are capable of producing sharp hinge-like bends. These compliant actuators generate an immediate hydraulic force upon electrostatic activation without an external fluid supply source, are silent and fast in operation, and can be fabricated with commodity materials. We experimentally investigate the characteristics of these actuators and present application scenarios for actuating existing objects as well as origami folds. In addition, we present a software tool for the design and fabrication of shape-changing interfaces using these electrohydraulic actuators. We also discuss how this work opens avenues for other possible applications in Human Computer Interaction (HCI).