Actuator characterization: Force, deflection, and bandwidth measurements

The actuator characteristics in Fig. 3 were recorded by optical tracking of deflections. For the measurements of forces, a cantilever cut from a 0.002″-thick PI sheet was used. The rectangular cantilever was laser-cut with the following dimensions: 0.6″ in length and 0.125″ in width. The stiffness of the cantilever at the tip was established to be 105.9 ± 12.0 mN/m by applying different loads. To measure the blocking force, the calibrated cantilever tip was placed at the actuator edge with the largest displacement, and the displacement was measured using optical images. The force was calculated from the displacement and the stiffness of the calibrated cantilever. The angular deflections were directly measured from the optical images. The actuator force and deflection measurement were performed using the 2″ by 2″ by 0.5″ magnet to generate the magnetic field. To measure the angular displacement with time for the bandwidth measurements, the edges of cantilever were tracked from the side (for the small-amplitude displacements) and from the top (for the large-amplitude bandwidth) for each frame. Here, the electromagnet was used for actuation, powered by 1.5 A at 50% duty cycle (for small amplitude) and 7.5 A at 50% duty cycle (for large-amplitude bandwidth measurements). For the 7.5-A current pulses, a solid-state relay (SSR-25 DD) was controlled by a source meter. All these images and videos were acquired using the Canon macro lens (EF 180 mm f/3.5L Macro USM).

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