Samsung Electronics’ research results of multifunctional artificial muscle actuators are featured in the journal Nature Communications – Samsung Newsroom Taiwan

Samsung Research Institute collaborates with Asia University in Korea to demonstrate next-generation multifunctional artificial muscle actuators

Samsung Electronics Announces Samsung Research Institute(Note 1)Important findings of Dr. Bongsu Shin (co-first author) “Actuating Compact Wearable Augmented Reality Devices by Multifunctional Artificial Muscle” (Utilizing multifunctional artificial muscles to actuate a small wearableARdevice)Published in the top international journal “Nature Communications”.

This research is a collaboration with a mechanical engineering team led by Prof. Je-Sung Koh (corresponding author) at Asia University in Korea to develop artificial muscle actuators that can be applied to augmented reality (AR) glasses and natural-fitting haptic gloves.

As the Metaverse ferments, in order to create a more immersive experience in the virtual world, actuation and sensing technologies are developing rapidly. The actuators and sensors integrated with the wearable device must be lightweight and convenient for users to wear and operate. Due to design constraints, traditional actuators cannot achieve the specifications of thin and light appearance and high power density, so there are limitations in the introduction of advanced functions.

The research team decided to use artificial muscle actuators to break through the limitations of traditional electromagnetic actuators in manufacturing engineering. Artificial muscle actuators can be used as small, high-power actuation systems with sensing capabilities, so they can be used in wearable devices such as multi-focus AR glasses and natural-fit haptic gloves. The team used Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) as the basic material to create a lightweight and high-power Compliant Amplified SMA Actuator (CASA), which is extremely light (0.22 grams) but can Lift an object 800 times heavier than yourself.

Dr. Bongsu Shin of Samsung Research said, “The new actuator proposed in this study is lightweight yet powerful, with a high force-to-weight ratio. More importantly, this device not only overcomes the traditional There are also opportunities to expand applications in a wide range of fields such as robotics and wearable devices. We expect the research results to become the key hardware technology for the new generation of immersive interactive experiences.”

The research team also demonstrated image depth control with a novel actuator. It adopts a binary depth switching device to directly adjust the distance between the optical system of the AR glasses prototype and the display according to the focusing distance of the object to be projected, so as to reduce the occurrence of Vergence Accommodation Conflict (VAC), and solve the problem of some users wearing AR glasses. Problems with visual fatigue when glasses are used.

In addition, non-vibration mechanical tactile output is very important to generate a realistic feedback experience on the skin through a haptic device. In order to induce the sensation of large-area deformation of the skin, the haptic device needs to be equipped with an actuator with a high force-to-weight ratio and a large displacement. The research team combined multiple actuators in the limited area of ​​the prototype haptic device to create a more realistic haptic sensation.

CASA triggers the movement of objects through pressure, and uses the resistance of artificial muscles to change with external pressure to measure pressure without sensors. The prototype of the CASA-style tactile glove used in the study is extremely thin and transparent and has high pressure sensitivity, which has the opportunity to be applied to the remote tactile feedback technology, which will recognize the performance of the tactile writing system and convert it into an electronic signal.

Note 1: Samsung Research is the advanced R&D center of Samsung Electronics, responsible for developing next-generation technologies for the Device eXperience (DX) business group.

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