Optimization of an Electroactive Polymer-Actuated Arm Joseph Ash, Matthew Degner, Sara Jasin, Jordan Milford, Kevin Nash, Josh Oechslin, Catherine Ross, Brandon Shue Primary Advisor: Dr. John Cotton The goal of this project is to create a robotic arm that will successfully compete in the 2006 EAP-in-Action Session of the 2006 International Society for Optical Engineering’s Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices’ Conference. The arm will use electroactive polymers (EAPs) as artificial muscles. The development of this device was inspired by the EAP Challenge, a competition proposed to the scientific community by Dr. Yoseph Bar Cohen in 1999. Due to the functional similarity of EAPs to human muscle fibers, this challenge has the ability to advance the field of biomimetics. http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov/nasa-nde/lommas/eap/EAP-armwrestling.htm Executive Summary: Our project includes the design and construction of an artificial human arm which can successfully compete in the 2006 EAP-in-Action Session competition. The design consists of a composite skeleton, artificial muscle system, and acid bath pump system. The composite skeleton was fabricated by last year’s team using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM). The artificial muscle design consists of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) gel fibers activated by an acid bath system. One of our objectives is to improve last year’s acid bath system by creating a more complete coverage of the muscles with a smaller time delay. The resulting muscles will serve as actuators in the control system. The functionality of this design is meant to encompass only the motions and force generation required by the sport of arm wrestling.