REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0035.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: smart textiles, wearable, fiber actuators, soft exoskeleton, haptic action
Online: 1 June 2021 (13:17:34 CEST)
The booming wearable market and recent advances in material science has led to the rapid development of the various wearable sensors, actuators, and devices that can be worn, embedded in fabric or accessories, or tattoos directly onto the skin. Wearable actuators, a subcategory of wearable technology, have attracted enormous interest from researchers in various disciplines and many wearable actuators and devices have been developed in the past few decades to assist and improve people's everyday lives. In this paper, we review the actuation mechanisms, structures, applications, and limitations of recently developed wearable actuators including pneumatic and hydraulic actuators, shape memory alloys and polymers, thermal and hygroscopic materials, dielectric elastomers, ionic and conducting polymers, piezoelectric actuators, electromagnetic actuators, liquid crystal elastomers, etc. Examples of the recent applications such as wearable soft robots, haptic devices, and personal thermal regulation textiles are highlighted. Finally, we point out the current bottleneck and suggest the prospective future research directions for wearable actuators.