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A High Gain Dual Stage Converter for Driving Dielectric Elastomer Actuators in Microrobotic Applications

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Dielectric elastomer is a feasible actuator to convert electrical energy to mechanical deformation with great potential use in microrobots. Critical challenges including the requirement for high drive voltage converter and low mass, compact size and high power density remain to be addressed. In this paper, a high voltage converter is proposed. Two cascade tapped-inductors (TPIs) are combined with the Ziegler–Nichols proportion-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm to obtain the desired high gain in the DC/DC conversion stage. Furthermore, a special digital control algorithm is designed to generate arbitrary drive signal with smaller size. The simulation and experimental validation verify the ability of the circuit to drive an 1 kV dielectric elastomer at 5 Hz for microrobotic applications.
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Keywords: CASCADE TAPPED-INDUCTORS; DIELECTRIC ELASTOMER; HIGH DRIVE VOLTAGE; MICROROBOTICS; PROPORTION-INTEGRAL-DERIVATIVE (PID)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • The electronic systems that can operate with very low power are of great technological interest. The growing research activity in the field of low power electronics requires a forum for rapid dissemination of important results: Journal of Low Power Electronics (JOLPE) is that international forum which offers scientists and engineers timely, peer-reviewed research in this field.
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