William Spath


The focus of this project is to see if it is possible to integrate multiple EAP materials in an electro- mechanical system to produce a closer representation of a biological muscle with smooth varying motion. In this preliminary study, two common types of EAPs, ionic and dielectric, were investigated to determine their mechanical and electrical properties in order to assess their potential to be combined into a working artificial electromechanical muscle prototype at a later time. A conceptual design for an artificial electromechanical muscle was created with biomimetic relationships between EAP materials and the human bicep muscle. With the assistance of the Rochester General Hospital, a human arm model, isolating the bicep muscle, was created to calculate mechanical characteristics of the bicep brachii. From the human arm model, bicep muscle characteristics were compared to those of the dielectric EAP because of the ability for the EAP to output relatively high force and strain during actuation. It was found that the current state of the art of EAPs is a long way from making this a reality due to their limiting force output and voltage requirements. The feasibility of developing an artificial electromechanical muscle with EAP actuators is not possible with current technology.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Biomimetic polymers; Arm--Models; Muscles--Models

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Walter, Wayne


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: QD382.B47 S73 2011


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