Liquid pouch motor is a soft actuator made with a pouch that inflates when the liquid inside vaporizes.
- Nylon-LDPE film (or Alminium-Nylon-LDPE film)
- Solvent liquid (3M Novec 7000)
- Syringe and needle
- Double-sided tape
- Acrylic sheet (In this recipe, we used PP which is the same material as an A4 clear file. Cut it into the shape of something you want to move, for example a butterfly)
Tools and Equipments
- Heat sealer (NL-202J)
- Electric kettle (optional, for boiling water)
Cut the nylon film to make the pouch. Its size should fit the height of the acrylic sheet. In this case, fit the height of the butterfly’s body.
Set the sealer’s temperature to 2.5. Seal 3 sides of the film to create a pouch. Cut off the excess film.
Pour some Novec into a cup and draw it into a syringe. Inject a small amount of Novec into the pouch (at least 20μL).
Carefully hold the pouch so that the liquid does not spill, and seal the last side of the pouch.
Boil some water with the electronic pot and pour it into a cup. When the the pouch is inserted into the hot water, it inflates! (50℃ will be enough because the boiling point of Novec is 34℃.)
For the acrylic sheet, cut out the part where the pouch will be attached. In this case, the middle part of the butterfly. Attach the butterfly wings to the pouch with double-sided tape.
Actuate – Flapping
Boil some water again, pour it into a cup and place the butterfly on top. You can see the butterfly flap. Hold it up and cool it down to let the wings return to its initial state.
- Design of acrylic sheet : Butterfly (pdf)
- Instructor in video : Hiroki Sato
- Contributors : Koya Narumi, Ryuma Niiyama, Yoshihiro Kawahara
- Research page : Electric phased-change Actuator (Kawahara Lab, The University of Tokyo)
- Research paper : Electric phase-change Actuator with inkjet printed flexible circuit for printable and integrated robot prototyping
- Related art work : Papilion (ARS Electronica2017)