Using Fractional Derivatives for Parameter Identification and Control of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators

  • Timi KarnerEmail author
  • Miloš Žefran
  • Karl Gotlih
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 73)


Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs), also known as soft actuators, are being used as artificial muscles in different applications. Elastomers used in dielectric elastomer actuators usually exhibit both elastic and viscous characteristics. Depending on the elastomer mechanical properties and the mode of actuation, DEA behavior can vary from being more elastic at higher deformation rates and more viscous at lower deformation rates. In order to capture mechanical properties of an elastomer, fractional derivatives are introduced into the standard rheological Kelvin-Voigt model. With the help of fractional derivatives wider frequency and amplitude range can be captured for dynamical operation of the elastomer. Once the DEA model has been set-up and all parameters have been identified, a control algorithm is developed with the help of fractional derivatives in FOMCON toolbox in Matlab. Simulation in Simulink are used to confirm the advantages of fractional \( PI^{\lambda } D^{\mu } \) versus traditional PID regulator on fractional order plant model.


Dielectric elastomers soft actuators fractional derivatives Kelvin-Voigt FOMCON 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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