Robohub.org
 

World’s first all rubber speaker made from artificial muscles is thin, soft and bassy

by
18 October 2012



share this:
12-0184-r

Tokai Rubber Industries has developed the world’s first all-rubber speaker. This speaker utilizes Smart Rubber, which conducts electricity and can freely expand or contract, to generate sound.

Previously, the company developed flexible, all-rubber touch sensors using Smart Rubber. This all-rubber speaker arose from the company’s new line of development: materials for artificial muscles.

Q. “Until now, thin speakers have been piezoelectric and film types, as used in smartphones and tablets. But those don’t produce low-frequency sounds. By contrast, the rubber speaker we’ve developed does produce low frequencies. It’s the first speaker of this kind in the world.”

This speaker consists of a piece of non-conductive rubber sandwiched between two rubber electrodes. When a voltage is applied between the rubber electrodes, static electricity is generated, causing the sheet to expand. Sound waves are generated by the repeated expansion and restorative force of the rubber sheet.

“Of course, technology is needed to make rubber conduct electricity. What our technology does is give the rubber a uniform surface charge. Another thing needed is insulating rubber between the pieces of conductive rubber. Each type of rubber has to be flexible, and the insulating rubber mustn’t change its resistance when it expands. That’s a key technology in this speaker.”

“Wearing headphones is a bit of a hassle, so we’d like to use the flexibility of this speaker to build it into chairs and the like. That way, people could enjoy audio in open settings.”

“Currently, we don’t have a specific product roadmap. We’d like to think about needs and applications together with potential customers, including those at CEATEC. Then, we’d like to turn this speaker into a commercial product.”



tags: ,


DigInfo TV is a Tokyo-based online video news platform dedicated to producing original coverage of cutting edge technology, research and products from Japan.
DigInfo TV is a Tokyo-based online video news platform dedicated to producing original coverage of cutting edge technology, research and products from Japan.





Related posts :



Robot science fiction books of 2021

2021 produced four new scifi books with good hard science underpinning their description of robots and three where there was less science but lots of interesting ideas about robots.
23 January 2022, by

How robots learn to hike

A new control approach that enables a legged robot, called ANYmal, to move quickly and robustly over difficult terrain.
20 January 2022, by

How robots and bubbles could soon help clean up underwater litter

Everyone loves to visit the seaside, whether to enjoy the physical benefits of an exhilarating swim or simply to relax on the beach and catch some sun. But these simple life affirming pleasures are easily ruined by the presence of litter, which if persistent can have a serious negative impact on both the local environment and economy. However, help is at hand to ensure the pristine nature of our coastlines.
19 January 2022, by

Maria Gini wins the 2022 ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award

Congratulations to Maria Gini on winning this prestigious award, recognising her research and leadership in the field of robotics and multi-agent systems.
18 January 2022, by

UN fails to agree on ‘killer robot’ ban as nations pour billions into autonomous weapons research

Given the pace of research and development in autonomous weapons, the U.N. meeting might have been the last chance to head off an arms race.
16 January 2022, by

Science Magazine robot videos 2021

A compilation of Science Magazine videos featuring robotics research that were released during last year.
14 January 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association