Prototype of an entirely soft butterfly robot using Electrohydraulic actuators. These actuators are silent and rapid (can actuate up to frequency of 25 Hz).
We present Electriflow: a new class of soft electrohydraulic actuators as building blocks for prototyping shape-changing interfaces. These actuators are silent and fast in operation and can be fabricated with commodity materials. Electriflow generates an immediate hydraulic force upon electrostatic activation without an external fluid supply source, enabling a simple and compact self-contained design. This paper describes the materials and mechanisms of these shape-changing building blocks, as well as the underlying fabrication process, which includes a software tool that assists in their design, shape visualization and construction. Finally, we explore four classes of application prototypes: tangible animation, actuating origami creases, shape-changing phone, and shape-changing bowl.
Electriflow actuators can animate physical characters embedded in a book.
A mockup of a shape changing phone using electriflow actuators.
Prototype of a flower petal actuating in a silent fashion.