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Patent 7948151 Click For Printable Version of This Patent
Patent Information:  USPTO Site Listing

Patent Number: 7948151
Case ID: 0
Patent Title: Electroactive polymer-based artificial neuromuscular unit
Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: 11/30/2011 10:46:02 AM
Issue Date: 5/24/2011
Filed Date: 4/9/2009
Serial #: 2/421,467
Assignee Name: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy (Washington, DC)
Inventor(s): Blackburn, Michael R. , McGinnis, Wayne C.
Lab Information:  View Lab Profile

Lab Name: SPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific
Location: 53560 Hull Street
San Diego, CA 92152-5001
Contact: Contact Lab About This Patent
   
Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This electroactive polymer-based artificial neuromuscular unit relates generally to the field of structures comprising a plurality of electroactive polymer (EAP) elements. Electrical energy is customarily distributed to individual polymer strands of a given EAP element by electrical conductors. While masses of polymer strands have been bundled together and activated in concert, no adequate method has existed for the coordination and individual control of sequences of polymer strands in structures comprising multiple EAP elements. An example of a structure with multiple EAP elements is the braided structure of U.S. Pat. No. 7,193,350 B1.

SUMMARY

The electroactive polymer-based artificial neuromuscular unit, as disclosed herein, comprises: an electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator layer; an EAP logic layer coupled to the actuator layer; an EAP energy layer coupled to the logic layer such that the logic layer is interposed between t . . . . More
Abstract:
An artificial neuromuscular unit (ANMU) comprising: an electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator layer; an EAP logic layer coupled to the actuator layer; an EAP energy layer coupled to the logic layer such that the logic layer is interposed between the energy layer and the actuator layer, wherein the logic layer is configured to control energy transfer between the energy layer and the actuator layer; and a sensor element operatively coupled to the actuator layer and the logic layer, wherein the sensor element is configured to communicate deflections of the actuator layer to the logic layer.
Claims:
We claim:

1. An artificial neuromuscular unit (ANMU) comprising: an electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator layer; an EAP logic layer coupled to the actuator layer; an EAP energy layer coupled to the logic layer such that the logic layer is interposed between the energy layer and the actuator layer, wherein the logic layer is configured to control energy transfer between the energy layer and the actuator layer; a sensor element operatively coupled to the actuator layer and the logic layer, wherein the sensor element is configured to communicate deflections of the actuator layer to the logic layer; wherein the energy layer comprises an energy storage component electrically coupled to the logic layer such that the logic layer is configured to gate energy to and from the energy storage component and the actuator layer; and wherein the energy layer further comprises two energy buses and wherein the sensor element is laterally interposed between the two energy buses and verticall . . . . More