Energy and Force Optimization of a Network of Novel Electromagnetic Soft Actuators
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This paper discusses how to optimally design polygonal profiles of Electromagnetic Soft Actuators (ESAs) to be used in a network to achieve maximum output force with minimum energy consumption. The soft actuators work based on operating principle of solenoids but are made of intrinsically soft materials. It was, previously, confirmed that by miniaturizing the size, the amount of output force decreases for a single ESA however, by the ratio of force to volume increases. Therefore, networking small sized ESAs, would increase the output force. Initially, ESAs were made with circular cross-section profiles. However, we prove here that the shape of the cross-section profile can affect the output force. A polygonal shape with fewer sides would result in higher output force for a single ESA. However, with a network of ESAs, another parameter, packing density, plays an important role in the output force. Our optimization results suggest that even though triangular cross-section profiles lead to the highest amount of force for a single ESA, the best choice would be hexagonal shapes when they are networked.