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Ronald E. Pelrine is the chief scientist in the Robotics Program at SRI International. He oversees the development of electroactive polymer actuators, generators, and materials, electrically controlled adhesion, micromachines, magnetics, robotics, magnetic-based sensors, and thermal and fluid modeling. In addition, he has experience in geophysics, especially seismic oil and gas exploration.
Since joining SRI in 1989, Pelrine has worked on projects such as pulse rate sensor signal processing, design of a magnetically clamped pipeline robot, design of diamagnetic sensors, micro-motors, and cleanroom devices. He is also responsible for the discovery, design, and development of electroactive polymer actuators and generators, polymer actuated robotics, wall-climbing robots, and electroadhesion.
He is a principal inventor of dielectric elastomers, a type of electroactive polymer often referred to as artificial muscle. In 2006, Pelrine received SRI’s Fellows Award, which recognizes exceptional staff members for their outstanding accomplishments and is SRI’s highest recognition for technical, scientific, or professional contributions.
Pelrine has numerous research papers and holds 70 patents issued in the fields of electroactive polymer actuators and generators, microdevices, magnetics, robotics, sensors, displays, and signal processing. He has numerous additional patents pending. Pelrine has a B.S. in physics from MIT, a M.S. in physics from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas.
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