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Homework Help: Piezoelectric ceramics in a robotic limb

  1. Sep 9, 2012 #1
    piezoelectric ceramics, are they a good substitute for muscles in a robotic limb, and would they make it move in a similar manner to a real limb
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2012 #2
    That is such a vague question. You're asking if some type of material that gains charge due to deformation can replicate muscles for a robotic arm. There is no answer to that unless there's some kind of setup that you're just replacing the material with a ceramic. Or am I missing something?
  4. Sep 9, 2012 #3
    The reason I asked this is because they expand upon being subject to an electric current. This is like a muscle that can expand and contract to move our limbs.
  5. Sep 9, 2012 #4
    Though I may be missing some information too.
  6. Sep 9, 2012 #5


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    Notice, please, that mechanical deformation of a piezoelectric crystal is not caused by “an electric current”. It is caused by the application of an external electric field.

    “Lead zirconate titanate crystals will change about 0.1% of their static dimension when an external electric field is applied to the material.”

    See section on “Actuators” especially:


    Since the amount of motion is Very Small, we could not just substitute a p. crystal for a bicep, for example.
  7. Sep 10, 2012 #6
    I don't think piezoelectric devices would provide sufficient displacement+force to be of any practical use in robotic devices. The work density is too low. Look at all of the various devices being developed by DARPA...they are still constructed with umbilicals pumping hydraulic fluids to provide sufficient power to move links fast enough, and with enough force.
  8. Sep 10, 2012 #7
    Thanks that's all I needs to know.
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