The interest in actuators based on dielectric elastomer films as a promising technology in robotic and mechatronic applications is increasing. The overall actuator performances are influenced by the design of both the active film and the film supporting frame. This paper presents a single-acting actuator which is capable of supplying a constant force over a given range of motion. The actuator is obtained by coupling a rectangular film of silicone dielectric elastomer with a monolithic frame designed to suitably modify the force generated by the dielectric elastomer film. The frame is a fully compliant mechanism whose main structural parameters are calculated using a pseudo-rigid-body model and then verified by finite element analysis. Simulations show promising performance of the proposed actuator.

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