Experimental study of a flexible and environmentally stable electroadhesive device

Electroadhesion is a promising adhesion mechanism for robotics and material handling applications due to several distinctive advantages it has over existing technologies. These advantages include enhanced adaptability, gentle/flexible handling, reduced complexity, and ultra-low energy consumption. Unstable electroadhesive forces, however, can arise in ambient environments. Electroadhesive devices that can produce stable forces in changing environments are thus desirable. In this study, a flexible and environmentally stable electroadhesive device was designed and manufactured by conformally coating a layer of barium titanate dielectric on a chemically etched thin copper laminate. The results, obtained from an advanced electroadhesive "normal force" testing platform, show that only a relative difference of 5.94% in the normal force direction was observed. This was achieved when the relative humidity changed from 25% to 53%, temperature from 13.7 °C to 32.8 °C, and atmospheric pressure from 999 hPa to 1016.9 hPa. This environmentally stable electroadhesive device may promote the application of the electroadhesion technology.