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A Robust Soft Lens for Tunable Camera Application Using Dielectric Elastomer Actuators




Developing tunable lenses, an expansion-based mechanism for dynamic focus adjustment can provide a larger focal length tuning range than a contraction-based mechanism. Here, we develop an expansion-tunable soft lens module using a disk-type dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) that creates axially symmetric pulling forces on a soft lens. Adopted from a biological accommodation mechanism in human eyes, a soft lens at the annular center of a disk-type DEA pair is efficiently stretched to change the focal length in a highly reliable manner. A soft lens with a diameter of 3mm shows a 65.7% change in the focal length (14.3–23.7mm) under a dynamic driving voltage signal control. We confirm a quadratic relation between lens expansion and focal length that leads to large focal length tunability obtainable in the proposed approach. The fabricated tunable lens module can be used for soft, lightweight, and compact vision components in robots, drones, vehicles, and so on.

Author(s): Saekwang Nam and Sungryul Yun and Jae Woong Yoon and Suntak Park and Seung Koo Park and Seongcheol Mun and Bongje Park and Ki-Uk Kyung
Journal: Soft robotics
Year: 2018
Month: August
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Department(s): Haptic Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

Digital: True
DOI: 10.1089/soro.2017.0146
State: Published
URL: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/soro.2017.0146


  title = {A Robust Soft Lens for Tunable Camera Application Using Dielectric Elastomer Actuators},
  author = {Nam, Saekwang and Yun, Sungryul and Yoon, Jae Woong and Park, Suntak and Park, Seung Koo and Mun, Seongcheol and Park, Bongje and Kyung, Ki-Uk},
  journal = {Soft robotics},
  publisher = {Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.},
  month = aug,
  year = {2018},
  url = {https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/soro.2017.0146},
  month_numeric = {8}