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Samsung publishes paper on artificial muscle actuators for VR devices

Shin Bong-su, a Samsung Electronic researcher, and the co-first author of the paper (Samsung Electronics)
Shin Bong-su, a Samsung Electronic researcher, and the co-first author of the paper (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Electronics said Monday its joint research team with Ajou University published a paper last month on the wider adoption of artificial muscle actuators for wearables in Nature Communications, an online publisher affiliated with Nature, the science journal.

The paper, titled “Actuating Compact Wearable Augmented Reality Devices by Multifunctional Artificial Muscle,” was recognized for expanding the use of artificial muscle actuators in robotics to the field of smaller wearables like virtual reality glasses.

Artificial muscle actuators can measure the pressure of an artificial muscle and move objects by exerting force.

In the project, the joint research team developed a multifunctional artificial muscle actuator based on the “shape memory alloy,” a unique class of alloys that has the ability to remember their shape and are able to return to that shape even after being bent.

The team applied such actuators to wearable devices such as augmented reality glasses and haptic gloves to prove their practical use.

The new artificial muscle actuator is also ultralight and ultrathin, at 5 millimeters thick and weighing 0.22 grams, which helps reduce the weight of AR or VR wearables using the actuators and sensors.

The technology also helps reduce visual fatigue felt by users of the glasses as the actuators can more effectively adjust the distance between the display and the optical lenses.

“We anticipate that the outcome of our latest research will be the core hardware technology for a more immersive and interactive experience,” said Shin Bong-su, a Samsung researcher and the co-first author of the paper.

By Lee Yoon-Seo (yoonseo.3348@heraldcorp.com)
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