Actuators based on dielectric elastomers are a promising technology in robotic and mechatronic applications. Up to now, the practical electro-mechanical response and controllability of actuators based on dielectric elastomers are limited by the inadequacy of the employed driving circuits, which are based on voltage-regulated converters. In order to circumvent the aforementioned activation issues, the design procedure of a novel activation strategy for controlling dielectric elastomer actuators is presented in this article. The proposed electronic driver derives from the flyback converter topology and it is able of delivering to the dielectric elastomer actuator middle-frequency, current-pulse trains dependent on the duty-cycle value. The driver’s transformer, switching and protection circuit components design and optimization are based on an estimation of the dielectric elastomer actuator’s electrical parameters. The design of the transformer is crucial for the actuator’s performance and energy efficiency, meanwhile the driver’s switching and protection circuit components are important for the appropriate driver functioning and safety operation. The reported experimental results show that the proposed electronic driver performances are in accordance with the driver’s design.

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