Integrated Logic for Dielectric Elastomers: Replicating the Reflex of the Venus Flytrap

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are electroactive polymers commonly used in soft robotics. Bulky and stiff high-voltage circuits are usually needed to control their operation. This article presents autonomous control in a multi-functional device made entirely of DEs. A gripper made of DE actuators is controlled by dielectric elastomer sensors through an electrical circuit. The circuit itself is composed of a network of actuators and sensors. The final structure requires only a constant power supply to work and produces its controlling signals. Every component can be manufactured simultaneously with the same materials and processes. At first, the logical control of the gripper is demonstrated by directly connecting a sensor to the gripper that opens when the sensor is stretched. Then, a DE level-triggered flip-flop (also called latch) is introduced to have bi-stability between open and closed states. Finally, the latch is integrated inside the gripper, allowing it to sense objects. The device autonomously grips an object that is placed in it, resembling the closing mechanism of the plant Dionaea muscipula, also known as the Venus flytrap.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2202000
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85150813290
WOS 000953294900001
Mendeley 911339f9-e4c7-31de-93fa-83015ca7d315
ORCID /0000-0002-8588-9755/work/142246733
ORCID /0000-0002-9903-9807/work/142254122


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • actuators, bi-stability, control, dielectric elastomers, electronics, latch, Venus flytrap, Actuators, Electronics, Dielectric elastomers, Control, Latch, Bi-stability, controls, Venus flytraps