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Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-07-12

A linear resonant actuator includes: (a) an electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuator; (b) a substrate having a first surface and a second surface, the EMP actuator being mounted on the first surface of the substrate; (c) clamping structure provided on two sides of the substrate so as to allow the substrate to vibrate freely between the two sides of the substrate, in response to an electrical stimulation of the EMP actuator; and (d) an inertial mass element having a contact surface for attaching to the substrate at the second surface of the substrate. The inertial mass element may include contact structures provided to attach to the substrate along thin parallel lines. In one embodiment, the inertial mass element may have a T shape, or any suitable shape for stability.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-01-04

A steerable guide wire including one or more electroactive polymer layers, wherein each EAP layer is disposed between a layer of a first electrode and a layer of a plurality of second electrodes.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-01-07

Electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuators are used to create haptic effects on a user interface deface, such as a keyboard. The keys of the keyboard may be embossed in a top layer to provide better key definition and to house the EMP actuator. Specifically, an EMP actuator is housed inside an embossed graphic layer that covers a key of the keyboard. Such a keyboard has a significant user interface value. For example, the embossed key provides the tactile effect of the presence of a key with edges, while allowing for the localized control of haptic vibrations. For such applications, an EMP transducer provides high strains, vibrations or both under control of an electric field. Furthermore, the EMP transducer can generate strong vibrations. When the frequency of the vibrations falls within the acoustic range, the EMP transducer can generate audible sound, thereby functioning as an audio speaker.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-05-29

Micro-streerable catheters for use in delivering therapeutic treatment in the body, such as ablation and cauterization, and which exhibit precise movement are disclosed. Embodiments include electrical micro-catheters that comprise of electroactive polymers. A preferred embodiment includes a programmable catheter.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-11-21

A localized multimodal haptic system includes one or more electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducers, each including an EMP layer, such as an electrostrictive polymer active layer. In some applications the EMP transducer may perform an actuator function or a sensor function, or both. The EMP polymer layer has a first surface and a second surface on which one or more electrodes are provided. The EMP layer of the EMP actuator may be 5 microns thick or less. The EMP transducers may provide local haptic response to a local a stimulus. In one application, a touch sensor may be associated with each EMP transducer, such that the haptic event at the touch sensor may be responded to by activating only the associated EMP transducer. Furthermore, the EMP transducer may act as its own touch sensor. A variety of haptic responses may be made available. The EMP transducers may be used in various other applications, such as providing complex surface morphology and audio speakers.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2012-11-21

A localized multimodal haptic system includes one or more electromechanical polymer (EMP) transducers, each including an EMP layer, such as an electrostrictive polymer active layer. In some applications the EMP transducer may perform an actuator function or a sensor function, or both. The EMP polymer layer has a first surface and a second surface on which one or more electrodes are provided. The EMP layer of the EMP actuator may be 5 microns thick or less. The EMP transducers may provide local haptic response to a local a stimulus. In one application, a touch sensor may be associated with each EMP transducer, such that the haptic event at the touch sensor may be responded to by activating only the associated EMP transducer. Furthermore, the EMP transducer may act as its own touch sensor. A variety of haptic responses may be made available. The EMP transducers may be used in various other applications, such as providing complex surface morphology and audio speakers.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-08-30

A catheter includes an electromechanical polymer (EMP) actuator disposed in a steerable tip at the distal end of the catheter. When activated, the EMP actuator deflects the steerable tip through an angle between 0 and 270 degrees, thus permitting the operator to steer the steerable tip through the vasculature. The steerable tip also has at least a first relatively stiff region and a second relatively flexible region, and the EMP actuator is provided next to the first relatively stiff region so that the steerable tip may toward the flexible region when activated. In one implementation, an external interface allows a user to select by name one of many sets of control signals, with each set of control signals being signals calibrated for configuring the catheter to mimic a known catheter.


Patent
Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. | Date: 2013-08-30

An electromechanical polymer (EMP) sensor includes (a) a first set of EMP layers provided between a first electrode and a second electrode forming a capacitor, the first set of EMP layers having one or more EMP layers capable of being activated by application of a voltage across the first and second electrodes; and (b) a sensing circuit coupled to the first electrode and the second electrode for detecting a change in capacitance or a change in voltage across the first and second electrodes. The EMP sensor may further include means for disconnecting the second electrode from a ground reference after the pre-determined voltage is applied, such that the sensing circuit senses a change in capacitance. The sensing circuit may be capable of detecting a noise portion of a voltage across the first and second electrode.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 999.03K | Year: 2012

Capacitors are critical components in power modulator systems for radio frequency accelerator technology, in power electronics in electric vehicles, wind energy, and photovoltaic panels, and in directed energy weapon systems. Current capacitors have low energy density and occupy 30-50% volume of the devices. We propose to develop advanced wound capacitors with a specialty flexible ultrathin glass with high dielectric constant, low dielectric loss, high thermal stability, and high breakdown strength. The capacitors will combine ultrahigh energy density, high energy efficiency, and low-cost commercial manufacturability. Systematic test on the glass samples confirmed that the high dielectric constant glass has high dielectric breakdown strength, high energy density, and high charge- discharge efficiency. The ultrathin glass is flexible and can wound to a small radius without damage. Proprietary coating technology was developed to significantly improve the dielectric breakdown strength and the reliability. The ultrathin glass sheet will be further improved so that the high performance of the glass can be fully transferred to large prototype capacitors. Advanced capacitor design will be performed to increase the energy density and lifetime of the capacitors so they can meet the customer requirement. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The ultrahigh energy density glass capacitors with high reliability will enable the miniaturization of many power electronic devices. Potential applications include capacitors for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, high power strobe lights, defibrillators, and uninterruptable power supplies


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 204.60K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): It was estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) that there are about 314 million people who are visually impaired with 45 million of them are blind . Only 26% of working-age blind people are employed in the US and the high unemployment rate due to vision diseases leads to an annual production loss of about 8.0 billion US dollars. Among the 26% employed working-age blind people in the US, nearly 90% are braille readers. However, the braille literate rate in children has decreased from over 50% in 40 years ago to ~12% now in the US. Among the various causes, the high-cost and poor- reliability of the commercial braille display are discouraging factors for the children to learn an use braille. In this SBIR PhaseI project, Strategic Polymer Sciences, Inc. (SPS) proposes to develop low-cost robust full-page braille display and graphic display using its patented electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator technologies. The success of the commercialization project will be built upon three innovation technologies: EAP actuators with balanced strain and force response matching braille specifications, novel braille design in which the extensional EAP actuator serves as the braille pin to enable the full- page display, and a scalable EAP actuator manufacturing process for cost reduction and actuator quality consistency. The EAP compositions and actuator devices were invented at Penn State University (Zhang et al. Science 280:2101; 313:334; 321:821; and Nature 419:284) and SPS hasobtained exclusive license of these technologies. The success of this project will benefit millions of visually impaired people with affordable braille devices and more opportunities. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The commercialization of advanced low-cost electroactive polymer (EAP)-based actuators can enable the practical application of refreshable full-page braille display and graphic display with significantly reduced device cost and maintenance cost and improved reliability. The success of this project will benefit millions of visually impaired people with affordable braille devices and more opportunities.

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