TWI457597B - Optical lens image stabilization systems - Google Patents

Optical lens image stabilization systems Download PDF

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Publication number
TWI457597B
TWI457597B TW097147738A TW97147738A TWI457597B TW I457597 B TWI457597 B TW I457597B TW 097147738 A TW097147738 A TW 097147738A TW 97147738 A TW97147738 A TW 97147738A TW I457597 B TWI457597 B TW I457597B
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TW
Taiwan
Prior art keywords
lens
actuator
shifting
lens unit
film
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Application number
TW097147738A
Other languages
Chinese (zh)
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TW200946953A (en
Inventor
Jonathan R Heim
Ilya Polyakov
Alireza Zarrabi
Otto Hui
Michael Gabriel Lipton
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Parker Hannifin Corp
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Priority to US11/953,815 priority Critical patent/US7893965B2/en
Priority to US11/953,789 priority patent/US8842355B2/en
Priority to US11/953,784 priority patent/US7679839B2/en
Priority to US11/953,798 priority patent/US8054566B2/en
Application filed by Parker Hannifin Corp filed Critical Parker Hannifin Corp
Publication of TW200946953A publication Critical patent/TW200946953A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of TWI457597B publication Critical patent/TWI457597B/en

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Description

Optical lens image stabilization system

This invention relates to optical lens systems, and more particularly to such systems that use electroactive polymer transducers to adjust the lens to provide auto focus, zoom, image stabilization, and/or shutter/aperture capabilities.

In conventional optical systems, such as in digital cameras, motors and solenoids are used as power sources for displacement gears and cams that act on optical components (eg, lenses) to provide focus, zoom, and Image stabilization (also known as anti-vibration). These conventional systems have a number of disadvantages - high power consumption, long response times, limited accuracy, and high space requirements.

Advances in miniaturization technology have led to high quality, high functionality, lightweight portable devices and ever-increasing consumer demand for further improvements. An example of this is the development of a cellular phone (commonly referred to as a camera phone) that includes a camera. While most of these camera phones use full mechanical lens modules with small form factor lenses, this approach does not provide variable or auto focus, zoom and image stabilization capabilities due to the large number of moving parts required. For example, the zoom capability requires a combination of a lens element, a motor, and a cam mechanism for converting the rotational movement of the motor into a linear movement to adjust the relative positions of the lenses to an associated image sensor to achieve desired magnification. In addition to the motor and cam mechanism, a plurality of reduction gears are also used to accurately control the relative positioning of the lenses.

Electromagnetic actuators are commonly used to perform automatic focusing and zoom actuator functions in digital still cameras and, to some extent, in camera phones. Many, electromagnetic actuators include a coil that produces a magnetic force, wherein the magnet has a length that is longer than the length of the coil (usually referred to as "voice coil") in the direction of the optical axis. This voice coil technology has been widely accepted because it enables small and lighter optical lens systems. However, the disadvantages of lighter and smaller cameras (especially those with longer exposure times and higher resolution sensors) are the quality of the camera vibration due to hand shake. The greater impact, that is, causes confusion. To compensate for camera shake, gyroscopes are often used for image stabilization. The gyroscope measures the pitch and yaw, however, it cannot measure the roll, that is, the rotation about the axis defined by the barrel. Conventionally, two single-axis piezoelectric or quartz gyroscopes have been used with many external components to achieve image stabilization over a full scale range. InvenSense offers integrated dual-axis gyroscopes for image stabilization MEMS technology that supply smaller size settings.

While variable focus, zoom, and image stabilization features are possible in camera phones and other optical systems having relatively small form factors, such features generally increase the overall quality of such devices. In addition, due to the necessity of a large number of mobile components, power consumption is quite high and manufacturing costs are increased.

Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide an optical lens system that overcomes the limitations of the prior art. It would be particularly advantageous to provide such a system whereby the configuration of the lens and the mechanical interface between the lens and its actuator structure are highly integrated to reduce the form factor as much as possible. It would be extremely beneficial if such an optical system involved a minimum number of mechanical components, thereby reducing the complexity and manufacturing cost of the system.

The invention includes an optical lens system and apparatus and methods of use thereof. The systems and devices include one or more electroactive polymer (EAP) based actuators integrated to adjust the parameters of the device/system. For example, the one or more EAP actuators can be configured to automatically adjust the focal length of the lens (auto focus), magnify the image that is focused by the lens (zoom), and/or adjust any desired effects experienced by the lens system Exercise (image stabilization or anti-vibration).

The one or more EAP actuators include one or more EAP transducers and one or more output components and one of a lens portion, a sensor portion, and a shutter/aperture portion of the subject lens system/device or More integration. The lens portion (ie, the lens stack or the lens barrel) includes at least one lens. In some embodiments, the lens portion typically includes a focus lens assembly and a focusless lens assembly. The sensor portion includes an image sensor that receives an image from a portion of the lens of the device for digital processing by the image processing electronics. The activity of the (e.g.) EAP actuator (i.e., by applying a voltage to the EAP transducer) adjusts the relative position of the lens and/or sensor assembly to affect or modify the optical parameters of the lens system.

In one variation, an actuator assembly (including at least one EAP actuator) can be used to adjust the position of a portion of the lens stack relative to the sensor portion along a longitudinal axis (Z-axis) of the lens stack In order to change the focal length of the lens stack. In another variation, the same or different actuators can be used to adjust the position of one or more lenses within the lens stack relative to one another along the longitudinal axis (Z-axis) to adjust the magnification of the lens system. rate. Also, in another variation, an actuator can be used to relative in the planar direction (X-axis and/or Y-axis) Moving the lens portion of the sensor portion of the system portion or relative to the sensor portion in the lens portion to compensate for unwanted motion imposed on the system, that is, to stably apply to the image The image on the sensor. Other features of the invention include the use of EAP actuators to control the aperture size of the lens system and/or to control the opening and closing of the shutter mechanism. An EAP actuator can provide only a single function (eg, shutter control or image stabilization) or a combination of functions (eg, auto focus and zoom).

The present invention also includes methods for using the subject devices and systems to focus and/or magnify images or to eliminate unwanted movements of such devices/systems. Other methods include methods of making the subject devices and systems.

These and other features, objects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the <RTIgt;

The invention will be best understood from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the appended claims, To facilitate an understanding of the present invention, the same reference numerals, where applicable, are used to indicate similar elements that are common to the drawings. The following figures are included in the drawings.

Before describing the apparatus, systems, and methods of the present invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited Thus, while the invention has been described primarily in the context of a zoom camera lens, the subject optical system can be used in microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, video cameras, projectors, glasses, and other types of optical applications. It should also be understood that the terms used herein are used merely to the extent that the particular embodiments are described. It is not intended to be limiting, as the scope of the invention is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

Referring now to the drawings, Figures 1A and 1B illustrate an optical lens system of the present invention having autofocus capabilities. The drawings detail a lens module 100 having a lens barrel 108 holding one or more lenses (not shown). The aperture 106 is provided at the distal end or front end of the lens barrel 108. Positioned at the distal end of the aperture 106 is an electroactive polymer actuator 102 having an electroactive polymer (EAP) membrane 120. The periphery of the membrane 120 is sandwiched by the frame sides 122a, 122b and sandwiched centrally by the disc sides 104a, 104b, leaving one of the membranes 120 exposed to the annular cross section. The structure and function of the electroactive membrane are now discussed in more detail with reference to Figures 2A and 2B.

As illustrated in the schematic diagrams of Figures 2A and 2B, the electroactive membrane 2 comprises a composite of materials comprising a thin polymeric dielectric layer 4 sandwiched between flexible electrode plates or layers 6, thereby forming a capacitive structure. As seen in Figure 2B, when a voltage is applied to the electrodes, the opposite charges in the two electrodes 6 attract each other and the electrostatic attractive forces compress the dielectric layer 4 (along the Z-axis). In addition, the repulsive force between the isotropic charges in each electrode tends to stretch the dielectric (along the X and Y axes) in the plane, thereby reducing the thickness of the film. Thereby, the dielectric layer 4 is deflected as the electric field changes. Since the electrode 6 is flexible, it changes shape with the dielectric layer 4. In general, deflection refers to any displacement, expansion, contraction, torsion, linear or planar stress, or any other deformation of a portion of the dielectric layer 4. This deflection can be used to generate mechanical work depending on the form-fitting architecture (eg, using a frame of capacitive structure). The electroactive membrane 2 can be pre-strained within the frame to improve the conversion between electrical energy and mechanical energy, i.e., pre-strain allows the membrane to deflect more and provide more mechanical work.

With the application of a voltage, the electroactive membrane 2 continues to deflect until the mechanical force balances the electrostatic forces that drive the deflection. These mechanical forces include the elastic restoring force of the dielectric layer 4, the flexibility of the electrode 6, and any external resistance provided by the device and/or load coupled to the membrane 2. The resulting deflection of the film due to the applied voltage can also depend on many other factors, such as the dielectric constant of the elastomeric material and its magnitude and hardness. The voltage difference and the removal of the induced charge cause a reverse effect, returning to the inactive state illustrated in Figure 2A.

The length L and width W of the electroactive polymer film 2 are much larger than its thickness t. Typically, dielectric layer 4 has a thickness in the range of from about 1 [mu]m to about 100 [mu]m and is likely to be thicker than each electrode. It is desirable to select the modulus of elasticity and thickness of the electrode 6 such that the additional hardness contributed to the actuator is substantially less than the hardness of the dielectric layer, and the dielectric layer has a relatively low modulus of elasticity (i.e., less than about 100 MPa).

Classes of electroactive polymer materials suitable for use with the subject optical systems include, but are not limited to, dielectric elastomers, electrostrictive polymers, electronic electroactive polymers, and ionic electroactive polymers, and some copolymers. Suitable dielectric materials include, but are not limited to, polyfluorene oxide, acrylic acid, polyurethane, fluorononone, and the like. Electrostrictive polymers are characterized by a non-linear reaction of the electroactive polymer. Electro-electroactive polymers are typically altered in shape or size due to electron migration that occurs in response to an electric field (usually dry). Ionic electroactive polymers are polymers that change shape or size due to ion migration that occurs in response to an electric field (typically wet and containing an electrolyte). Suitable electrode materials include carbon, gold, platinum, aluminum, and the like. Membranes and materials suitable for use with the separators of the present invention are disclosed in the following U.S. Patent Nos. 6,376,971, 6,583,533, 6,664, 718, incorporated herein by reference.

Referring again to FIGS. 1A and 1B, operative engagement of the EAP actuator 102 with the lens barrel and lens stack 108 enables automatic focusing of the lens assembly. The frame 122 is attached to the distal end of the outer casing 114 by means of a screw 126a received in the aperture 126b, and the disc or cover portion 104 of the EAP actuator 102 is positioned or mounted against the distal end of the lens barrel 108, whereby the cover 104 is provided The inner aperture 118 is axially aligned with the aperture 106 to allow light to pass to the lens assembly. A biasing member in the form of a leaf spring mechanism 110 is operatively engaged between the lens barrel 108 and the frame 122 to preload or bias the disk 104 in the direction of arrow 125 to provide a frustoconical shape. This frustoconical actuator is described in detail in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 11/085,798, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. The preload or bias ensures that the actuator 102 is actuated in the desired direction rather than only wrinkling after the electrode is active. In the case of the illustrated leaf spring mechanism 110, the housing 114 can be provided with a wall recess 132 or the like to accommodate one or more leaf springs and operatively position one or more relative to the actuator 102 Plate spring. Alternatively, other biasing members such as the simple positive rate spring (e.g., coil spring) shown in Figure 7A can be used.

On the near or rear side of the lens assembly or lens stack 108 is an image sensor/detector 116 (such as a charge coupled device (CCD)), and the image sensor/detector 116 receives the control electronics. 128 (shown only in Figure 1B) is an image processed digitally. The focal length of the lens stack 108 can be adjusted by selective actuation of the EAP actuator 102 (where one or the other lens is adjusted) The axial position of multiple lenses). The sensor 116 and the actuator 102 can be powered via electrical coupling to the power source 130.

As shown in FIG. 1B, a complete camera assembly will include at least one shield or cover 112. Other components, such as infrared (IR) filters (not shown) that are typically used with conventional lens systems, may also be incorporated into system 100.

FIG. 3 illustrates another lens module 140 of the present invention. A cylindrical barrel 142 having one or more lenses 144 is movably retained within the outer housing component 146 and the inner housing component 148 having a distal portion 142a slidably positioned through an opening in the outer housing 146 and via the interior The opening in the outer casing 148 is slidably positioned proximal end portion 142b. The junction between the distal barrel portion 142a and the proximal barrel portion 142b defines an annular shoulder 150 to which the annular inner frame member 158 of the EAP actuator 152 is mounted. The actuator 152 has a double frustoconical configuration in which each truncated cone is defined by a membrane 154a, 154b held between the inner frame members 158 under tensile conditions, and a peripheral portion of the distal membrane 154a is retained to the outer casing 146. Between the frame block or spacer 156, and a peripheral portion of the proximal film 154b is held between the inner casing 148 and the frame block 156. Instead of being biased by the leaf spring mechanism, the distal end membrane 154a of the double frustoconical structure provides a preload for the actuator 152 in the direction of arrow 155, thereby moving the lens barrel 142 in the same direction to adjust the focus lens 144. . Although the unbiased film 154b is an EAP film, the bias film 154a need not be an EAP film and may be only an elastomeric fabric. However, if film 154a comprises an electroactive polymer material, it can be used to sense position by capacitive change or can provide a two-phase actuator with film 154b. In the latter case, when the film 154b is active, it moves the lens barrel 142 in the direction of the arrow 157, thereby The focal length of the lens 144 is adjusted in the reverse direction.

In another variation of the invention, Figures 4A and 4B show an optical system 160 that uses an actuator combination to control each of focus and zoom. The system has a focus stage that is housed within the housing 182 and includes a focus lens 164 that is retained within the barrel 162 and that is driven by the diaphragm actuator 166. The focus is adjusted by varying the distance between the lens 164 and the image sensor 180 in a manner similar to that described with respect to Figures 1A and 1B. The system 160 also provides a zoom stage that includes a zoom lens 168 that is retained within the lens holder 170 and below the lens cover 176. The lens cover 176 is mechanically coupled to a pair of planar actuators by armatures 174a, 174b, respectively. 172a, 172b. Each of the actuators 172a, 172b is formed by stretching the EAP over or over the common frame member 178 attached to the armatures. The zoom function is achieved by changing the distance between the lens 164 and the lens 168. In general, focus adjustment requires movement between about 0.1 mm and 2.0 mm; zoom typically requires about 5 to 10 times the stroke amount. Although not shown, it is also contemplated that multiple faces of a combined frame may carry separate diaphragm actuators or individually carry planar actuators. Also, non-orthogonal frame geometries can be used.

Where there is more available space, it may be desirable to provide an EPAM zoom/focus engine that is suitable for longer zoom strokes to increase the operating range of the device. 5A and 5B are perspective views showing an alternative lens system 190 in which there is a telescopic arrangement of a plurality of pairs of planar actuators 192a, 192b with one of each pair of actuators positioned On the opposite side of the lens mount 194 that is fixed to the barrel 196, the barrel 196 carries the zoom lens 198. When actuated, the planar actuator is disposed in the direction of arrows 202 and 204 The image sensor 200 translates the lens barrel 196 and the zoom lens 198 along the focus axis, wherein FIGS. 5A and 5B show the minimum and maximum zoom positions, respectively.

The manner in which the actuators are coupled and operated is illustrated by the enlarged cross-sectional views of FIGS. 6A-6C, and the various actuation stages of the actuator stack of FIGS. 5A and 5B are illustrated in FIGS. 6A-6C. Progressive motion is achieved by attaching a continuous output rod 208 to the actuator frame segment 206 and attaching the innermost output rod to the rod 210 to drive the zoom assembly.

Turning now to Figures 7A and 7B, another optical lens system 300 of the present invention is shown which provides image stabilization in addition to autofocus. The lens module 302 includes a lens barrel 312 that holds one or more lenses, and is shown here as having four lenses 314a, 314b, 314c, and 314d, although fewer or more lenses can be used. The lens assembly 314 is displaced by an EAP actuator 320 having an EAP film 325 extending between the outer frame 322 and the inner disk or cover member 328. The outer frame 322 is secured between the bottom outer casing 324 and the top outer casing 326. A biasing member in the form of a coil spring 332 is positioned about the barrel 312 and operatively engaged between the rear end 334 of the bottom housing 324 and the shoulder or flange 336 of the barrel 312, thereby in the direction of arrow 335 The cover or disk 328 is preloaded or biased to provide a frustoconical shape to the EAP actuator 320.

The radial stiffness of the disc member 328 of the actuator and the counterforce/bias imposed on the distal end of the barrel 312 (as opposed to the force/bias of the arrow 335) helps maintain the barrel in the lens module 302 Concentricity within. Moreover, as evidenced by the graph of Figure 11A, the overall structure of the biased EAP actuator effectively suspends the barrel from gravity, and Figure 11A shows the passive stiffness of such a lens positioning system. On the other hand, Fig. 11B illustrates that after the start of the self-hard stop position, the The normal load response of the system.

The sleeve wall 318 extends upwardly from the rear end 334 of the outer casing 324 and between the coil spring 332 and the outer surface of the barrel 312. The sleeve 318 acts as a linear conduit for the barrel 312 and, together with the flange 336, provides a travel stop at a maximum "macro" (near) focus position. It is also useful to have a built-in travel stop or hard stop for initial calibration of the barrel position during manufacturing assembly of system 300. The rigidity of the sleeve wall 318 also provides additional compression protection to the lens assembly during normal use. Additionally, the overall structure of the EAP actuator 320 provides some shock absorption to the lens barrel. In summary, EAP actuators, biasing springs, bushings, and integral barrel designs provide uniform radial alignment of the best performance of the lens system.

The frustoconical architecture of the EAP actuator can be provided by other types of biasing members, such as the leaf spring biasing mechanism 390 illustrated in Figure 12A, the configuration of which provides a particularly low profile. The biasing mechanism 390 includes an annular base 392 having a radially extending bifurcation that is spaced about the circumference of the base 392 and angled upward from the circumference of the base 392 at a point of flexure 396. Slice 394. Figures 12B and 12C show a leaf spring biasing mechanism 390 operatively used as a biasing member within an optical lens system having a configuration similar to that of the system 300 of Figures 7A and 7B. The base portion 392 of the leaf spring surrounds the barrel 312 below the flange 336, and each of the furcation tabs 394 engages the underside of the frame 322 that acts as a bearing surface. To provide a uniform balanced concentric offset, the leaf spring mechanism preferably provides at least three evenly spaced tabs 394. In addition, to prevent unintentional rotational movement of the leaf spring 390, the fork or leg of the furcation tab 394 is located at each corner of the outer casing. In the slot. The inner casing block 398 acts as a linear sleeve or bracket for the barrel 312 when the barrel 312 is in the "infinity" (i.e., most recent) position.

The biasing member can also be integrated into the lens barrel and/or housing structure of the optical lens system. FIG. 13 illustrates an example of such a situation in which the structural portion 410 of the lens system of the present invention includes a lens barrel 412 that is concentrically positioned within the housing assembly 414. The biasing member 416 is positioned between the lens barrel and the outer casing and across the lens barrel, wherein the biasing member can be formed with such components in a unitary or unitary configuration (eg, by means of molding) or otherwise provided as Insert the insert between them. The latter configuration is illustrated in which the annular diaphragm 418 has a raised configuration (as viewed from the top or outer viewpoint); however, a concave configuration may alternatively be used. Polyoxymethylene, polyurethane, EPDM, other elastomers or any low viscosity elastomer is a suitable material for the membrane 418. The diaphragm extends between the inner side wall 420a and the outer side wall 420b, and the inner side wall 420a and the outer side wall 420b respectively abut against the outer lens barrel wall and the inner casing wall. The curved diaphragm 418 provides a spring mechanism with a negative rate bias. Other examples of EAP actuators having a negative rate bias are disclosed in the previously referenced U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 11/618,577.

14A and 14B illustrate other ways of integrating the spring bias of the actuator into the subject lens system. In FIG. 14A, spring biases to be applied to an EAP actuator (not shown) are provided by two or more tabs 422 that are structurally integrated into, for example, a map 7A and the bottom housing 324 of the lens system 300 of FIG. 7B extend radially inwardly within a concentric gap between the outer wall of the outer casing 324 and the sleeve wall 318. The tab 422 is curved or shaped in a manner to provide a spring bias when a load is applied. As shown in FIG. 14B, the lens barrel 312 may also be integrally formed with the tab 422 (such as, for example, By molding) and fixing to the tab 422.

The lens system of the present invention can be equipped with one or more filters in any suitable position relative to the lens. Referring again to system 300 of Figures 7A and 7B, top housing 326 has a transparent or translucent cover 330 positioned therein for passage of light rays. Alternatively, the entire top outer casing 326 can be formed from a transparent/translucent material. In either case, the cover can act as a filter that prevents infrared wavelengths of about 670 nm and higher from being transmitted through the lens assembly while allowing the visible wavelength to pass through substantially non-destructively. Additionally or alternatively, the IR filter 366 can be positioned adjacent the lens assembly.

The lens system of the present invention can also have image stabilization capabilities. Referring again to FIG. 7A and FIG. 7B, an exemplary embodiment of the image stabilization module 304 is positioned adjacent to the lens module 302. The image stabilization module 304 includes an image for receiving an image focused thereon by the lens module 302. Image sensor 306 and associated electronics for processing the images. The image stabilization module 304 also includes an EAP actuator 310 for compensating for any movement (i.e., "vibration") of the image sensor 360 in the x-y plane to maintain the focused image sharp. The z-axis correction can also be provided along with a sensor for sensing such motion.

The EAP actuator 310 has a planar configuration including a dual layer EAP film transducer having a "hot" side 338 and a ground side 348, which are best illustrated in the exploded assembly view of Figure 8 and Figures 9A and 9B. In the plan. The EAP film 338 includes an elastomer layer 342 and a plurality of electrically insulating electrodes 340, each electrically insulating electrode 340 extending over a portion of the elastomer 342 while leaving a central portion 362a of the electrodeless material of layer 342. The EAP film 348 includes an elastomer layer 352 and a single ground electrode 350. The annular shape of the ground electrode 350 is combined with each of the hot electrodes 340 The central portion 362b of the electrodeless material is left in place and the central portion 362b matches the portion 362a of the membrane 338. In summary, the two membranes provide a transducer having four functional quadrants (i.e., having four active ground electrode pairs) to provide a four phase actuator; however, as described below with respect to Figure 10A As discussed in Figure 10D, more or fewer active portions can be used. Selectively moving each of the quadrants (individually or in tandem with one or more of the other quadrants) to provide a range of actuations in the xy plane in response to and compensating for the vibration experienced by the system Exercise (ie, with two degrees of freedom). Sandwiched between the two membranes is an electrical tab 344, one for each hot electrode. A pair of grounding electrical tabs 346 are provided on the opposite outer surfaces of the EAP films 338, 348. Tabs 334 and 348 are used to couple the EAP actuator to a power source and control electronics (not shown). The dual layer transducer film is in turn sandwiched between a top frame member 354a and a bottom frame member 354b that hold the EAP film under tensile and strain conditions.

Actuator 310 also includes two discs 356, 358, one centered on each side of the composite membrane structure. These discs serve multiple purposes. The disk 356 provided on the outer side of the hot electrode film 338 is held in a planar alignment by the backing plate or cover 360b in the annular space or slit of the frame side 354b. The disc 356 acts as a travel stop - the membrane 338 is prevented from contacting the backing plate and acts as an auxiliary bearing support for the sensor. The disk 358 is provided on the outer side of the film 348 and is held in a planar alignment by the front plate or cover 360a in the annular space of the slit of the frame side 354a. The front plate or cover 360a also has a mouth portion, and the disk 358 is via the disk 358. The slit portion transmits the movement of the actuator 310 to the image sensor 306. To facilitate the movement of the output actuator from the disc 358 to the shadow Like the sensor 306, a linear bearing structure/suspension member 308 is provided therebetween. The structure/component 308 is in the form of a planar substrate 362 having a plurality of impact absorbing elements 364 (e.g., spring tabs extending from the edges of the substrate 362) that act as impact absorbers to cause output movement of the actuator 310 optimization. The substrate 362 can be in the form of a flexible circuit having a spring tab 364 (when made of a conductive material) that provides electrical contact between the image sensor 306 and its associated control electronics to the actuator 310.

In summary, image sensor 306, suspension component 308, and actuator 310 fit together within housing 316. The outer casing 316 is recessed on the distal side 368 to receive the lens module 302. On its proximal side 370, the outer casing 316 has a recess or recess 372 for receiving the electrical contact tabs 344, 346 of the actuator 310 and/or the spring tab 364 of the bearing/suspension member 308.

As mentioned above with respect to the discussion of four-phase actuator 310, the image stabilization actuator of the present invention can have any number of active areas that provide the desired phased actuation. 10A-10D illustrate a three-phase EAP actuator 380 for at least image stabilization suitable for use with the subject optical lens system of the present invention. Actuator 380 has a thermal EAP film 384a having three electrode regions 386, each of which effects actuation of about one third of the active region of actuator 380. Grounded EAP film 384b has a single annular ground electrode 388 that provides a ground side for each of the three active portions of actuator 380 when packaged by film sides 382a and 382b in film 384a. Although this three-phase design is more fundamental than the four-phase design (both mechanical and electrical), more complex electronic control algorithms are necessary because of the three-phase The actuator cannot provide discrete movement on the X or Y axis alone.

Many manufactured hardware components have dimensions within acceptable tolerances, whereby fractional dimensional changes in similar components and associated components do not affect product throughput. However, in the case of devices such as optical lenses, it is often more precise. More specifically, it is important to set the focus of the lens assembly relative to the image sensor to optimize the focus of the lens assembly when it is in the "infinity" position (ie, in the "off" state). In order to ensure accurate focus when used by the end user. Thus, it is preferred to calibrate the infinity position during the process.

15A and 15B illustrate an exemplary design for calibrating the infinity position of the lens assembly during processing (ie, adjusting the distance between the image sensor and the lens assembly) to determine the infinity position of the best focus. configuration. The barrel assembly 430 is comprised of a barrel 432 and a separable flange 434. The flange 434 has threads 439 therein for rotational engagement with external threads 437 of the barrel 432. The flange 434 is provided with a radially extending tab 436 that projects from a designated opening 436 when placed within the system housing 442 as shown in Figure 15C. Thus, the rotational position of the flange 434 is fixed with respect to the lens barrel 432. As shown in FIG. 15C, the top portion 438 of the top cover 435 of the lens barrel 432 is provided with a recess or indentation 440 for receiving the working end 446 of the calibration tool 444. The tool 444 allows for the proximity of the lens barrel 432 even after the lens barrel 432 is enclosed within the housing 442 and for rotating the lens barrel 432 with respect to the threaded engagement flange 434 in either direction, the position of the flange 434 by means of the tab 436 And the opening 436 is fixed in the outer casing. This relative rotational movement is linearly or axially relative to the image sensor (not shown) and other stationary components within the lens system (in either direction depending on the direction of rotation of the lens barrel) The entire lens barrel assembly 430 is translated in the direction. The distance between lens assembly 448 (see Figure 15B) and the image sensor defines the infinity position of the system.

16A and 16B illustrate another lens barrel configuration 450 for the purpose of (at least partially) achieving a calibration lens assembly. The difference from the configuration of Figures 15A-15C is that the flange 456 is movable relative to the barrel, which is rotatably secured when operatively located within the housing 452. This attachment is provided by a bumper or projection 460 that extends radially from the outer wall of the barrel. When the lens barrel is positioned within the system housing 452, the bumper block 460 is positioned within the opening or window 458 within the housing wall, which prevents rotational movement of the lens barrel. The outer circumference of the flange 456 is provided with an indentation 462 that is configured to engage a calibration tool (not shown). The outer casing 452 is provided with a window 464 through which the peripheral edge of the flange 456 is exposed. By using a calibration tool (or a finger if possible), the flange 456 can be rotated in either direction as desired. As in the previously described configuration, the relative movement of the flange and the barrel linearly/axially translates the entire lens assembly relative to the image sensor (not shown). Both configurations provide a convenient and easy way to calibrate the infinity position of the lens assembly during final assembly of the lens system.

17A and 17B illustrate two other embodiments of the lens system of the present invention having a simpler and lower profile design, wherein the lens 472 (the lens at the farthest end of a single lens or a plurality of lenses) and the EAP actuator Direct integration and selective positioning by EAP actuators.

The lens system 470 of Figure 17A uses a single phase actuator comprising an inner frame member 474 and an outer frame member 476, wherein the EAP film 478 is stretched between the two frame members. The lens 472 is positioned within the inner frame 474 and concentrically secured within the inner frame 474 such that the output movement of the actuator is directly imposed on the lens 472 on. The single phase actuator is biased in a direction toward the front side 472a of the lens by a compression coil spring 480 positioned within a frustoconical space defined between the inner frame 474 and the backing plate 482. The backing plate 482 acts as a hard stop at the maximum "macro" (near focus) position. When the actuator is in the "off" state, the lens 472 is in the macro position, and as the actuator is active, the lens is moved toward the infinity position in the direction of arrow 488. In a lens positioner application operating only in a macro position, the initial macro setting improves the reliability of the system by eliminating unnecessary displacement ranges.

A dual phase lens system 510 having a similar, low profile configuration is illustrated in Figure 17B. Here, the EAP actuator includes two layers or membranes for biasing each other. The top or back actuator includes an EAP film 494 that extends between the inner frame 490a and the outer frame 490b, and the bottom or front actuator includes an EAP film 496 that extends between the inner frame 492a and the outer frame 492b. The inner frames 490a, 492a are coupled together, and the respective outer frames 490b, 492b are spaced apart by the intermediate outer casing member 500 and sandwiched between them and the top outer casing member 498 and between the bottom outer casing members 502, respectively. Lens 472 (having a truncated low profile shape) is concentrically positioned within the coupled internal actuator frame. With two movable actuators, each actuator provides a bias for the other actuator and allows for biphasic or bidirectional movement of the lens 472. In particular, when the bottom actuator is active and the top actuator is closed, the bias of the top actuator causes lens 472 to move in the direction of arrow 504, and again, the top actuator is active and the bottom actuator When closed, the bias of the bottom actuator causes lens 472 to move in the direction of arrow 506. This enables the lens 472 to have a travel distance that is twice the travel distance of the single phase system 470 (2X). Can perform this double separation The membrane is configured to act as a single phase actuator by making one or the other of the actuators passive (i.e., always in a closed state). In either case, the dual diaphragm actuator provides a very low profile form factor for the lens system.

The lens stroke/stroke (for auto focus or zoom) can be increased (and reduced) by using additional structural components that make lens movement possible. This movement may involve absolute displacement of a single lens or a lens stack and/or relative movement between lenses within a lens assembly. Additional components for effecting such movement may include one or more EAP actuators, mechanical linkages, or the like, or a combination of both, integrated or coupled to the lens barrel/lens assembly to the lens barrel/ Lens assembly.

18 and 19 provide perspective views of an exemplary lens shifting mechanism of the present invention in which a plurality of EAP actuators/transducers are stacked in series to amplify stroke outputs, which are illustrated by arrows 525, 535, respectively. As illustrated, the transducers can be configured to be coupled together or coupled together to achieve the desired output.

The lens shifting mechanism 520 of Figures 18A and 18B provides a plurality of double frustoconical EAP actuator 528 units, wherein each actuator unit 528 includes two concavely facing transducers that couple the inner frame or cover 532 together Diaphragm 526. The actuator outer frame 534 is in turn coupled or coupled to an adjacent actuator outer frame 534. The farthest outer frame 534a is mounted to the lens frame 524 in which the lens 522 is positioned. The outer frame 534b is positioned farther away from the image viewer module (not shown).

19A and 19B illustrate a similarly functioning lens shifting mechanism 540, wherein each of the plurality of EAP actuator units 548 has an inverted configuration whereby the transducer diaphragm 544 faces the concave side of the interior and the outer side thereof. Frame 538 Connected together. The inner frame 536 of the actuators is in turn coupled or coupled to the inner frame 536 of an adjacent actuator. The most distal inner frame 536a is used to hold the lens 522 concentrically therein. The innermost frame 536b is positioned at a distance from the image sensor module (not shown).

In either design, the greater the number of actuator stages, the greater the stroke potential. Additionally, one or more actuator stages within the stack can be used for zoom applications, where an additional lens can be integrated with and actuated in common with each actuator stage as a focusless lens assembly. Additionally or alternatively, one or more of the transducer stages can be a setting for sensing (as opposed to actuation) to facilitate enabling actuator control or operational verification. In the case of any of these operations, any type of feedback method, such as a PI or PID controller, can be used in the system to control the actuator position with very high accuracy and/or precision.

Referring now to Figures 20A and 20B, another lens displacement mechanism 550 is illustrated that uses an EAP-based portion or assembly 552 in combination with a mechanical lens drive portion or assembly 554 (by which the latter is used to drive the former). The EAP portion 552 includes a double frustoconical actuator wherein the outer frames 556a, 556b are retained between the bottom outer casing portions 558a, 558b, and the inner frames 555a, 555b coupled to the transducer are relatively translatable along the optical axis 576 . As noted above, the actuator can be configured to move active in both directions along the optical axis 576 as a possible two-phase actuator, or configured to be up/forward along the optical axis. A single-phase actuator that moves up.

Mechanical portion 554 of displacement system 550 includes first and second driver plates or platforms 560, 564 interconnected by link pairs 566a, 566b and 568a, 568b. Each of the boards has a lens for holding and carrying the lens (not shown) The central opening of the display, which collectively provides a focusless lens assembly that adjusts the magnification of the focus lens (not shown) as it moves along the focal axis, the focus lens being centrally disposed in the lens opening in the top housing 574 578. Although only two zoom shift plates are provided, any number of plates and corresponding lenses can be used.

The pair of links provide a scissor jack action in response to the force applied to the first driver plate 560 to move the second driver plate 564 along the optical axis. As understood by those skilled in the art, the scissor jack action causes the second driver plate 564 to translate at a greater rate than the first driver plate 560, wherein the translation ratio between the first plate and the second plate provides a Telescopic effect. The plates 560, 564 are slidably guided along a linear guide 572 and by a linear guide 572 that extends between the bottom outer casing portion 558a and the top outer casing 574. After the movable actuator portion 552, the cover 555a is displaced thereby applying an upward force to the proximal end 562 of the driver plate 560. This drives the first plate 560, which in turn moves the pair of links to drive the second plate 564 at a selected greater translational rate. Although a scissor jack link is illustratively described, other types of links or mechanical configurations can be used to translate one plate such that its translation rate and distance are greater than the other plate.

21 provides a cross-sectional view of another hybrid (actuator-link) lens shifting mechanism 580 of the present invention, wherein actuator portion 582 includes a single EAP that is upwardly biased along optical axis 588 by coil spring 586. Transducer 584, however, any spring biasing member (eg, a leaf spring) can be used. After the movable actuator, the cover 590 moves against the first driver plate 592, which thus causes the second driver plate 594 to move up the optical axis 588.

Referring now to Figures 22 and 23, two of the present invention using a hybrid construction are illustrated. Other lens displacement mechanisms. These mechanisms all translate their respective lens assemblies/lenses in incremental or "inchworm" manner by using two types of actuator mechanisms.

The lens displacement mechanism 600 of Figures 22A and 22B uses two types of actuation motions to achieve the ulnar displacement of the lens assembly/cylindrical barrel 602 - "thickness mode" actuation and in-plane actuation. The lens barrel 602 holds one or more lenses (not shown) that can form a focusless lens assembly for zooming purposes. The lens barrel 602 has a sleeve 606 that extends laterally from the outer surface. The sleeve 606 is frictionally and slidably engaged with the rail 604, and the rail 604 extends between the top actuation portion 608a and the bottom actuation portion 608b. The actuation assembly of mechanism 600 includes a bottom portion 608a and a top portion 608b. Each actuator portion includes an actuator stack having a thickness mode actuator EAP film 610 and a planar actuator EAP film 612. The films are spaced apart from one another and enclosed between layers of flexible material (such as a viscoelastic material and preferably having a very low viscosity and durometer rating) 614a-614c to form an actuator stack 608a. Figure 22A shows electrode layer patterns 610a and 612a in a cross-sectional view of actuator stack 608a. A central aperture or aperture 616 extends through stack 608a to allow the focused image to pass to an image sensor/detector (not shown).

In operation, with the rear or bottom end 604a of the rail engaging the film stack 608a (or at least with the actuator layers 614b, 614c) at substantially right angles, the movement of the planar actuator EAP film 612 causes the rail end 604a to The directions 605 perpendicular to the length of the shaft of the guide rail 604 are laterally moved in opposite directions (e.g., opposite to each other). With the front end of the rail or the top end 604b in a fixed position, this movement causes the rail 604 to rest against the bearing 606 thereby rubbing The force secures the position of the lens barrel 602 to the rail 604. Deactivation of the membrane 612 pulls the rail back to its neutral or right angle position relative to the membrane stack 608a. The thickness mode actuation is then used to translate the rail 604 over the axial direction 607 whereby the existing frictional force is translated in the same direction to engage the barrel 602 of the rail 603 to adjust the focal length of the lens assembly. More specifically, when the EAP film 610 is moved, the film stack 608a is crimped thereby axially displacing the rail 604. After the barrel 602 is advanced, a friction bearing surface (not shown) is positioned to engage the outer surface of the barrel whereby the frictional engagement is greater than the frictional engagement imposed by the barrel sleeve 606 on the rail 604. The frictional engagement of the bearing surface on the wall of the barrel overcomes the frictional engagement of the sleeve on the rail such that when the thickness mode EAP film 610 is deactivated and the rail returns to the inactive position, the barrel remains in the advanced position. The planar thickness mode actuation sequence just described can be reversed to translate the lens assembly in the opposite axial direction.

Optionally, the top actuation portion 608b can be used to adjust the relative position or angle of the rail 604 and/or increase the possible travel distance of the lens barrel 602 on either axial direction 607. In this example, actuator 608b is configured to provide planar actuation for adjusting the position of the rails for the purpose of engaging the sleeve 606 with friction. In particular, actuator stack 608a includes a planar actuated EAP film 618 sandwiched between layers 620a, 620b, which may be made of the same material as layers 614a-614c of bottom actuator 608a. . The composite structure has a hole or aperture 622 extending therethrough to allow light rays through a focusing lens (not shown) to pass to the zoom or afocal lens assembly 602. Preferably, the planar sections of 608a and 608b are simultaneously actuated to maintain the guide bars 604 in parallel relationship with one another.

A top actuator 608b can be used in place of the planar actuation of the bottom actuator 608a to provide angular displacement of the rails as described above, or it can be used in series with the planar actuation portion of the bottom actuator 608a to laterally Shift the two ends of the rails. The series actuation can be controlled to precisely adjust the angular arrangement of the rails or to maintain the rails at a right angle relative to the planar surface of the respective actuators (ie, to maintain the rails parallel to each other), but provide Sufficient lateral displacement (toward or away from the barrel 602) to achieve friction against the sleeve 606. The top actuator 608b can also be equipped with a thickness mode actuation capability as described above to effect an amplifying axial movement of the rail. Although the translation of the two rails has been described, the present invention also includes variations of the lens shifting mechanism configured to move only a single rail or more than two rails.

23A and 23B illustrate another lens shifting mechanism 625 that uses a ruler type actuating motion. The mechanism 625 houses a lens assembly including a plurality of lens stages 626a, 626b, 626c, 626d, each lens stage having a slit 627 for holding a lens (not provided). Those skilled in the art will appreciate that fewer or more levels than the four levels illustrated can be used, and that level can be maintained for focusing, zooming, or only for light rays. In addition, all stages need not be translatable and can be secured to the mechanism housing or post 628. For example, in the illustrated variation, the first stage 626a and the fourth stage 626d are fixed while the second stage 626b and the third stage 626c are translatable. The four lens stages are held in parallel with each other by linear guides 642 that are fixed to the top lens stage 626a to the bottom lens stage 626d and between the top lens stage 626a and the bottom lens stage 626d. extend. The movable lens stages 626b, 626c can be linearly along the rails 642 via bearings 648 Pan.

The actuation portion of the displacement mechanism 625 includes first/top and second/bottom actuators 630a and 630b. The configuration of the crucible 630a is illustrated in Fig. 24A, in which two actuators are provided - a single phase linear actuator 632 and a two phase planar actuator 634 stacked in series with one another. Each actuator includes an EAP film extending between the inner member 638a and the outer member 638b to couple the respective inner members 638a together and to couple the respective outer members 638b to the spacers 640 positioned therein. In the illustrated variation, the EAP film of each planar actuator 634 is divided into at least two separately movable portions 636a, 636b to provide two-phase (or more) actuation. In this variation, each linear actuator 632 has a unitary EAP film 636c that is fully movable. The two single-phase linear (from each of the top and bottom turns) actuators 632 together form a two-phase linear actuator, wherein the bottom linear actuator is supported by a top linear actuator by means of a push rod 644, The biased and top linear actuator is biased by a bottom linear actuator that holds the actuator in tensioned condition relative to each other. As a result, each planar actuator 634 does not have a force applied to the plane applied thereto when the respective linear actuator 632 is passive. The output motion of inner member 638a (also referred to as an actuator output member) of both actuators 632 and 634 can be controlled to exhibit axial motion and/or planar motion, respectively (as indicated by arrows 640a, 640b). Provide the desired actuation cycle or sequence. The configuration of the top weir 630b can be the same but oriented to face the bottom weir 630a such that the concave side of the weir is outward.

A link portion in the form of a push rod 644 extends between the inwardly facing output members 638a of the actuator jaws 630a, 630b, through which the axially aligned apertures in each of the lens stages are aligned and Slides into the alignment aperture. Adjacent The apertures in the movable stages 626b and 626c and positioned opposite or opposite each other are clutch or breaking mechanisms 646a, 646b, and the clutch or breaking mechanism 646a, 646b can selectively engage the push rod 644 to secure the axes of the respective lens stages. To the location. Clutch mechanisms 646a, 646b can have any suitable configuration including, but not limited to, friction bearing surfaces or teeth for cooperative engagement with corresponding grooves on pusher 644.

In operation, the selective actuation of the linear and planar actuators 632, 634 of the two actuators 匣 630a, 630b makes it possible to incrementally translate the lens stages 626b, 626c by the cyclic motion of the push rods 644. This incremental or "foot" motion is schematically illustrated in Figures 24B-24F. Figure 24B shows the guide rail 644 in the neutral position, i.e., does not engage any of the lens stages 626b or 626c when the actuators 632, 634 are inactive. To move the lens stage 626b in the forward direction, as shown in Figure 24C, the first portion 636a of the EAP film of each planar actuator 634 (i.e., the top and bottom of Figures 23A and 23B) is moved to Pusher bar 644 moves laterally from the neutral position to engage clutch mechanism 646a (not shown in this figure). Next, as illustrated in Figure 24D, the linear actuator 632 is moved while the first portion 636a of each planar actuator 634 remains active to move the output member 638a out of plane. This out-of-plane motion pushes or lifts the push rod 644 in the forward direction and thus pushes or lifts the lens stage 626b. As illustrated in Figure 24E, once moved to the desired axial position, pusher 644 disengages clutch 646a by deactivating first EAP portion 636a of each planar actuator 634. Finally, as shown in Figure 24F, each linear actuator 632 is deactivated to retract the pusher bar 644 to its neutral position. Repeat this procedure for moving lens stage 626c but active planar actuator The second EAP portion 636b of 634 is instead of the first EAP portion 636a. A separately movable phase (i.e., an EAP film portion) and an additional clutch mechanism can be added to each planar actuator 634 to enable the lens shift mechanism to move two lens stages or more in series (possibly Happening).

25A-25C illustrate another lens shifting system 650 having focusing and zooming capabilities. System 650 includes two integrated single phase, spring biased actuators, one having a single frustoconical diaphragm configuration 652 and the other having a dual frustoconical diaphragm configuration 654. Actuator 652 includes a barrel structure 656 that houses a focus lens assembly 658. At the proximal end of the lens assembly 658 along the focus axis of the system is a focusless lens assembly 660 housed within the barrel structure 662. The two barrels 656, 662 are biased away from each other by a coil spring 664. The two actuators are further integrated into a radially extending transverse structure 666 to which the outer frame or output members 668a, 668b of the actuators 652, 654 are coupled, respectively. The EAP film 670 is stretched between the outer frame 668a and a corresponding inner frame or output member 672 that is mounted to the distal end of the lens barrel 656 of the focus actuator 652. Next, the first EAP film 676a is stretched between the outer frame 668b and a corresponding inner frame or output member 674 that is mounted to the proximal end of the barrel 662. The second EAP film 676b is stretched between the inner frame 674 and the grounded outer frame or output member 668c to form a double diaphragm structure of the zoom actuator 654. The second coil spring 678 is biased from the ground outer frame 668c to be coupled to the outer frames 668a, 668b.

As illustrated in Figure 25A, all phases of the system actuator are passive and the focus is at the "infinity" position. As illustrated in Figure 25B, focusing the system involves an EAP film 670 of the active focus actuator 652. The preload placed on the barrel 656 allows it to advance in the direction of arrow 680 to provide a reduced focal length. The amount of displacement experienced by the lens barrel 656 can be controlled by controlling the amount of voltage applied to the actuator 652. As illustrated in Figure 25C, the zoom actuation is similar but requires a movable actuator 654 in which a voltage is applied to the EAP films 676a, 676b to advance the lens barrel 662 in the direction of arrow 682. As with focusing, the degree of zooming displacement can be controlled by adjusting the amount of voltage applied to actuator 654. To obtain a larger magnitude of displacement, an additional actuator in a tandem configuration can be used. To provide incremental zoom displacement, the actuator 654 can operate in two phases to move the two diaphragms independently of one another. While the figures show the independent operation of the focus (Fig. 25B) and zoom (Fig. 25C) lens assemblies, the two can be operated simultaneously or in series to provide the desired focus and zoom combination for a particular lens application.

26A and 26B show another displacement mechanism 690 suitable for lens image stabilization. The actuator mechanism has a multi-phase EAP 696 that is stretched between the outer frame mount 692 and the central output disc or member 694. The output disc 694 is mounted to a pivot 698 that biases the disc out of plane. At rest, as illustrated in Figure 26A, all phases or portions of the multi-phase film are passive and the output disk 694 is horizontal. When a selected portion of the membrane 696a (from any number of separately movable portions) is active, the biasing membrane relaxes in the active region 696a causing the output platform 694 to be stressed and tilted, as shown in Figure 26B. The various movable portions are selectively movable to provide a three-dimensional displacement of the image sensor or mirror (not shown but otherwise positioned atop the center disk or output member 694) in response to system vibration.

The displacement mechanism of Figures 26A and 26B can be further modified to compensate for the undesirable z-direction movement experienced by the image sensor. This displacement mechanism 700 is illustrated in In Figures 27A-27C, instead of pivotally mounting the output member 704 of the actuator to ground, a spring biasing mechanism 708 is used. Multiphase film 706 is also used, and when one multi-phase film 706a or not all phases are active, as illustrated in Figure 27b, actuator output disk 694 undergoes asymmetric tilting and axial translation. When all of the membrane portions 706 are simultaneously active or while some membrane portions are active to provide a symmetrical response, the output member 704 undergoes a pure linear displacement in the axial direction, as illustrated in Figure 27C. The magnitude of this linear displacement can be controlled by adjusting the voltage applied to all phases or selecting the relative number of membrane portions that are simultaneously active.

The present invention also provides a shutter/aperture mechanism for use with an imaging/optical system, such as the system disclosed herein, where it is necessary or desirable to turn off the lens aperture (shutter function) and/or control access to the optical component or component. The amount of light (aperture function). 28 illustrates one such shutter/aperture system 710 of the present invention that uses an EAP actuator 712 to actuate a plurality of cooperating plates or blades 724 to adjust the passage of light through the imaging channel. Actuator 712 has a planar configuration having a dual phase EAP film 718a, 718b extending between outer frame member 714 and inner frame member 716, wherein the inner frame member has an annular opening 715 for passage of light. Although only two membrane portions 718a, 718b are used in the illustrated embodiment, a multi-phase membrane can also be used. The shutter/aperture mechanical/moving assembly is housed in a top 723 having a top plate 720a and a bottom plate 720b, the top plate and the bottom plate each having respective openings 725a, 725b for passing light therethrough.

The aperture vane 724 has a curved or curved teardrop shape whereby its annular alignment is maintained in an overlapping planar configuration. By means of an upwardly extending cam pin 736 to pivotally mount the blades to the bottom plate 720, the cam pins 736 correspondingly corresponding to respective apertures extending through the wider ends of the blades 724, thereby defining the pivotal pivoting of the blades about their operative pivot Axis or fulcrum. The tapered ends of the blades point in the same direction, the concave edges of which define the lens aperture, and the opening size of the lens aperture is variable by selectively pivoting the blades 724. The vanes 724 each have a cam follower slot 730 through which the other set of cam pins 732 extend from the bottom side of a rotating ring 722 (as illustrated in Figure 28A) positioned on the opposite side of the vane 724. Slot 730. The cam follower slot 730 is curved to provide a desired arcuate path of travel by the cam pin 732 as the ring 722 rotates, which in turn pivots the curved blade 724 about its fulcrum. A pin 726 extending from the top of the ring 722 or toward the side of the actuator projects through the opening 725a of the top jaw 720a and mates with the aperture 717 in the inner frame member 716 of the actuator 712. The selective movement of the actuator dual phase membrane 718 causes the inner actuator frame 716 to move laterally in opposite directions in a plane. The output motion of the actuator (via the pulling/pushing of the ring pin 726) causes the ring 727 to rotate and thus rotate the cam pins 732 within the cam slots 730 within the respective aperture blades 724. This in turn pivots the blades thereby moving the tapered ends of the blades closer to each other or further apart to provide a variable aperture opening, best illustrated in the top view of 匣 723 in Figure 29B. The size of the aperture opening can be changed between fully open (Fig. 29A) and fully closed (Fig. 29C) to operate as a lens shutter.

36A through 36D illustrate another aperture/shutter mechanism 840 of the present invention. Mechanism 840 includes a planar base 842 on which aperture/shutter blades 844 are pivotally mounted to pivot point 845 at one end. Blade 844 The pivoting movement causes its free end to move back and forth across the light through the image aperture 854 in the plane. The movement of the vane 844 is achieved by pivotal movement of the lever arm 846 having a free end movably received within a recess 856 in the inner edge of the vane 844. The lever arm 846 is pivotally mounted to the base 842 at a pivot point 852a. A flexure 848 that is integrally coupled or formed as a single piece with the lever arm 846 extends between the first pivot point 852a and the second pivot point 852b. The tab 850 extends inwardly from the center point on the flexure 848 toward the aperture 854. The vanes, lever arms, and flexures can be adapted to provide an aperture 854 that is in a normally open or normally closed state.

As illustrated in Figure 36C, movement of the tab 850 in the direction of arrow 860a toward the aperture 850 deflects the flexure 848 in the same direction. This action in turn causes the lever arm 846 to pivotally pivot in the direction of arrow 860b, causing the free end of the lever arm to move within the recess 856 toward the pivot point 845, which in turn causes the blade 844 to pivot in the direction of arrow 860c Rotating the ground thereby covers the aperture 854. As illustrated in Figure 36D, this actuation is caused by the activity of the actuator 856, which is mounted or stacked on top of the moving assembly of mechanism 840. The actuator 856 includes a configuration of a dual phase EAP film 860a, 860b that extends between the outer frame member 858a and the inner frame member 858b, respectively, similar to the actuator 710 of FIG. The free end of the tab 850 is mechanically coupled to the inner frame member 858b. Based on the orientation of the actuator 856 relative to the shutter mechanism 840 illustrated in Figure 36D, the activity of the EAP segment 860a pushes the tab 850 outwardly, while the activity of the EAP segment 860b pulls the tab 850 inwardly by itself.

As illustrated, mechanism 840 acts primarily as a shutter with aperture 854 open or closed. A hole 862 is provided in the blade 844 (shown in phantom in Figure 36A) The mechanism enables the mechanism to act as an aperture mechanism having two settings - one set of blades in the open position thereby allowing more light to pass through the aperture 854 to the lens module, and another set of blade cover apertures 854 thereby Light passes through the smaller aperture 862, which is aligned with the aperture 854 when the blade 844 is in the closed position and has a smaller diameter than the diameter of the aperture 854.

Other lens shifting mechanisms can impart movement to the lens or lens stack by using actuators that employ a "unimorph" film structure or composite. 30A and 30B show cross sections of sections of such a membrane structure 740. The film structure includes an elastomeric dielectric film 742 bonded to a film substrate or substrate 744 that is relatively stiffer than the dielectric film 742, that is, has a higher modulus of elasticity. The layers are sandwiched between the flexible electrode 746 on the exposed side of the dielectric film 742 and the harder electrode 748 on the inside or on the exposed side of the hard substrate 744. Thus, the composite structure 740 is "biased" to deflect in only one direction. In particular, when the film structure 740 is active, as illustrated in FIG. 30B, the dielectric film 742 is laterally compressed and displaced such that the structure is curved or curved in a direction away from the substrate 744. The bias imposed on the structure can be implemented in any known manner, including those generally described in International Publication No. WO 98/35529. Several lens shifting mechanisms of the present invention using such unimorph type EAP actuators are now described.

The lens shifting system 750 of FIGS. 31A and 31B includes a lens barrel or lens assembly 754 coupled to an actuator mechanism utilizing a unimorph EAP film structure 752. Selected regions or lengths of the membrane structure 752 extend between the barrel 754 and the fixed base member 756. The membrane structure can be a single skirt around the lens barrel like a skirt A sheet, which may comprise a single phase structure or a plurality of addressable regions to provide a multi-phase action. Alternatively, the actuator can include a plurality of discrete sections of the membrane that can be configured to be addressable collectively or independently. In either variant, the harder film side or layer (i.e., the substrate side) faces inwardly such that the film is biased outwardly. After the film is moved, as illustrated in Figure 31B, the film expands in the biasing direction to cause the film to extend away from its fixed side (i.e., away from the base member 756), thereby causing the lens barrel 754 to be in the direction of arrow 758. Move on. Various parameters of the film composite (e.g., film area/length, varying elasticity between the EAP layer and the substrate layer, etc.) can be adjusted to provide the desired amount of displacement to effect autofocus and/or zoom operations of the lens system.

The lens shifting mechanism 760 of Figures 32A and 32B also uses a unimorph film actuator. System 760 includes a lens barrel or lens assembly 762 mounted to lens barrel 764 resting on rail 766. Actuator 770 includes a folded or stacked unimorph diaphragm that is coupled together in series. In the illustrated embodiment, each unimorph is configured such that the more flexible side 772a faces the barrel and the harder side 772b is opposite the barrel, but the opposite orientation can also be used. When the actuator sheets are all inactive, as illustrated in Figure 32A, the stack is in its most compressed position, i.e., the barrel 762 is in the closest position. In the case of a focus lens assembly, this position provides the maximum focal length, while in the case of a focusless lens assembly, the zoom lens is in the macro position. The movement of one or more of the sheets 772 (collectively or independently) displaces the barrel 762 in the direction of arrow 765 to adjust the focus and/or magnification of the lens system.

Under certain environmental conditions (such as high humidity and extreme temperature environments), The performance of the EAP actuator can be affected. The present invention handles such ambient conditions by breaking into a feature that can be integrated into the EAP actuator itself or otherwise constructed within the system without increasing the space requirements of the system. In some variations, the EAP actuator is configured with a heating element to generate heat as necessary to maintain or control the humidity and/or temperature of the EAP actuator and/or to immediately surround the surrounding environment. The (equivalent) heating element is resistive having a conductor integrated into or adjacent to the EAP film, wherein the voltage on the conductor is lower than the voltage required for the activity of the actuator. Controlling the ambient parameters of the system using the same EAP actuators for lens displacement and/or image stabilization further reduces the number of components in the system and their total mass and weight.

Figure 33A illustrates an exemplary EAP actuator 780 that can be used with the lens/optical system of the present invention using a series electrode configuration to achieve a heating function. This view shows the ground side of the actuator with the ground electrode pattern 782 and the high voltage electrode pattern 784 on the other side of the actuator 780 shown in dashed lines. Terminals 786a and 786b are respectively electrically coupled to ground and a high voltage input from a system power source (not shown) for operating the actuator. A third terminal or connector 786c provides a connection to a low voltage input from the power source for the current path of the series resistive heater. Arrow 788 shows the annular current path provided by the electrode configuration using the entire ground electrode 782 as a resistive heating element.

Figure 33B illustrates another EAP actuator 790 that uses a parallel electrode configuration to achieve a heating function. This view shows the ground side of the actuator with the ground electrode pattern 792 and the high voltage electrode pattern 784 from the other side of the actuator 790 is shown in dashed lines. Terminals 796a and 796b are respectively grounded and come from A high voltage input to a system power source (not shown) establishes an electrical connection for operating the actuator. Parallel bus bars 798a, 798b are provided on the ground side of actuator 790 for connection to ground and low voltage inputs from a power source (not shown), respectively. Arrow 800 illustrates the radial path of the current established by the parallel electrode configuration. The use of electrodes in a parallel manner opposite to the series approach allows the use of lower voltages to achieve the current flow required to induce heating of the membrane.

As mentioned above, another method of system humidity and temperature control is to use a resistive heating element positioned adjacent to the EAP actuator. FIG. 34 illustrates a lens shift mechanism 810 using an EAP actuator having an EAP film 812. The spacing 816 defined between the top outer casing/lid 813 and the EAP film 812 provides sufficient space to position the heating element 814 therein. Preferably, the heating element has a cross-section and size (in this case, a truncated cone shape as illustrated in Figure 34A) that matches the cross-section and size of the EAP film to minimize the spacing requirements of the system and maximize heating. Heat transfer between element 814 and EAP film 812. The heating element includes a resistive trace 815a and an electrical contact 818 on the insulating substrate 815b to electrically couple the heating element to the power and sensing electronics of the system.

Another optional feature of the lens shifting system of the present invention is the provision of a sensor to sense the position of the lens or lens assembly, which provides closed loop control of lens displacement. FIG. 35 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of this position sensing configuration that is incorporated into a lens displacement system 820 having a configuration similar to that of the lens displacement system of FIG. 7A. The sensing configuration includes a set of electrode pairs having a cylindrical configuration. An electrode 822a (for example, a ground side electrode) surrounds an outer portion of the barrel 824. The ground electrode 822a is electrically biased via the actuator biasing spring 830 It is coupled to the ground lead 830a. Another electrode 822b (eg, active or power/sense electrode 822b) extends around the inner surface of the sleeve wall 826, from the rear end of the housing 828, and is located on the outer surface of the actuator biasing spring 830 and the barrel 824. between. Electrode 822b is electrically coupled to power/sense lead 830b. An insulating material adhered to the movable electrode 822b may be provided in a gap defined between the two electrodes to provide a capacitive structure. In the case of the position of the lens barrel as explained, the capacitance between the electrodes is at its maximum. As the barrel 824 is displaced in the distal direction, the overlapping surface areas of the electrodes decrease, which in turn reduces the capacitive charge therebetween. This change in capacitance is fed back to the control electronics of the system (not shown) for closed loop control of the lens position.

The subject optical lens system has minimal space and power requirements by using EAP actuators for auto focus, zoom, image stabilization and/or shutter control, and is therefore ideally suited for use at heights such as cellular telephone cameras In a compact optical system.

The methods of the present invention are associated with subject optical systems, devices, components, and components. For example, such methods can include selectively focusing the lens on the image, using the lens assembly to selectively magnify the image, and/or selectively moving the image sensor to compensate for the lens or lens assembly being experienced Unwanted vibration. The methods can include providing an action to use a suitable device or system of the present invention that can be performed by an end user. In other words, the "providing" (eg, lens, actuator, etc.) requires only the end user's acquisition, access, proximity, positioning, setting, activity, power-on, or other actions to provide the necessary means in the subject method. The subject method can include each of the mechanical activities associated with the use of the device and electrical activity. because Rather, the methods implied by the use of the device form part of the invention. In addition, electrical hardware and/or software controls and power supplies adapted to implement such methods form part of the present invention.

Yet another aspect of the invention includes a kit having any combination of the devices described herein, whether provided in a package combination or by a technician using the operation, in accordance with instructions for use, and the like. The kit can include any number of optical systems in accordance with the present invention. The kit can include various other components for use with such optical systems, including mechanical or electrical connectors, power supplies, and the like. The subject kit may also include written instructions for use of such devices or their assemblies. These instructions can be printed on a substrate such as paper or plastic. Thus, the instructions may be present in the kit as a package insert, in the label of the container of the kit or component thereof (ie, associated with the package or sub-package), and the like. In other embodiments, the descriptions exist as electronically stored data files that reside on a suitable computer readable storage medium (eg, CD-ROM, magnetic disk, etc.). In other embodiments, the actual description does not exist in the kit, but instead provides means for obtaining instructions from a remote source, for example, via the Internet. An example of such an embodiment is a set including a web address in which a description can be viewed and/or instructions can be downloaded from the web address. As explained, this component for obtaining instructions is recorded on a suitable medium.

With regard to other details of the invention, materials and alternative configurations can be used within the level of those skilled in the art. The same situation can be maintained for the method-based aspect of the invention in terms of additional actions that are typically used or logically used. In addition, although the invention has been described with reference to a number of examples, as appropriate, various features are incorporated, the invention is not limited to Each variant of the invention is described or indicated as being covered. Various changes may be made to the described invention and may be substituted for equivalents, whether recited herein or to some degree of conciseness, which is not included in the scope of the invention. ). Any number of individual components or subassemblies shown may be integrated in their design. These changes or other changes may be taken or directed in accordance with the design principles of the assembly.

Further, it is contemplated that any of the optional features of the described variations of the invention may be stated and claimed independently or in combination with any one or more of the features described herein. References to singular items include the possibility that there are a plurality of identical items. More specifically, the singular forms "a" and "the" In other words, the use of the articles refers to "at least one" of the subject matter in the above description and the scope of the claims below. Also note that the scope of the patent application can be drafted to exclude any optional components. Accordingly, this description is intended to serve as a pre-foundation of the use of this exclusive term (such as "individual", "only" and the like) in conjunction with the description of the claimed element or the use of the "negative" limitation. In the absence of this exclusive term, the term "comprising" in the scope of the patent application shall include any additional elements, whether or not a given number of elements are listed in the scope of the application, or the addition of features may be considered a transformation. The nature of the elements stated in the scope of the patent application. It is further provided that, unless specifically defined herein, all technical terms used herein will be given the broadest meaning as commonly understood, while maintaining the validity of the claim.

In summary, the breadth of the invention is not limited by the examples provided. that is, I advocate the following.

2‧‧‧Electroactive membrane

4‧‧‧Polymerized dielectric layer

6‧‧‧Electrode

100‧‧‧ lens module

102‧‧‧Electroactive polymer actuator

104‧‧‧ Disc or cover part

104a/104b‧‧‧ disc side

106‧‧‧ aperture

108‧‧‧Mirror tube

110‧‧‧ plate spring mechanism

112‧‧‧Shield or cover

114‧‧‧Shell

116‧‧‧Image Sensor/Detector

118‧‧‧ aperture

120‧‧‧Electroactive polymer film

122‧‧‧Frame

122a/122b‧‧‧Frame side

125‧‧‧ arrow

126a‧‧‧screw

126b‧‧‧ hole

128‧‧‧Control electronics

130‧‧‧Power supply

132‧‧‧ wall recess

140‧‧‧Lens module

142‧‧‧ cylindrical tube

142a‧‧‧ distal part

142b‧‧‧ proximal part

144‧‧‧ lens

146‧‧‧External casing

148‧‧‧ internal casing

150‧‧‧Ringed shoulder

152‧‧‧EAP actuator

154a/154b‧‧‧ film

155‧‧‧ arrow

156‧‧‧Frame blocks or spacers

157‧‧‧ arrow

158‧‧‧Internal frame parts

160‧‧‧Optical system

162‧‧‧Mirror tube

164‧‧ ‧focus lens

166‧‧‧ diaphragm actuator

168‧‧‧ zoom lens

170‧‧‧Lens fixture

172a, 172b‧‧‧ planar actuator

174a, 174b‧‧‧ armature

176‧‧‧ lens cover

178‧‧‧Frame components

180‧‧‧Image sensor

182‧‧‧Shell

190‧‧‧Alternative lens system

192a, 192b‧‧‧ planar actuators

194‧‧‧Lens frame

196‧‧‧Mirror tube

198‧‧‧ zoom lens

200‧‧‧Image Sensor

202‧‧‧ arrow

204‧‧‧ arrow

206‧‧‧Actuator frame segment

208‧‧‧ Output rod

210‧‧‧ great

300‧‧‧Optical lens system

302‧‧‧Lens module

304‧‧‧Image Stabilization Module

306‧‧‧Image Sensor

308‧‧‧Linear bearing structure/suspension parts

310‧‧‧Actuator

312‧‧‧Mirror tube

314‧‧‧ lens assembly

314a, 314b, 314c, 314d‧‧ lens

316‧‧‧ Shell

318‧‧‧ casing wall

320‧‧‧EAP actuator

322‧‧‧External framework

324‧‧‧ bottom shell

325‧‧‧EAP film

326‧‧‧ top shell

328‧‧‧Inside disc or cover part

330‧‧‧Transparent or translucent cover

332‧‧‧ coil spring

334‧‧‧The rear end of the casing

335‧‧‧ arrow

336‧‧‧Flange

338‧‧‧"hot" side/EAP film

340‧‧‧Electrically insulated electrode

342‧‧‧ Elastomeric layer

344‧‧‧Electric adjustment piece

346‧‧‧Electric adjustment piece

348‧‧‧EAP film / ground side

350‧‧‧ Grounding electrode

352‧‧‧ Elastomeric layer

354a‧‧‧Top frame parts

354b‧‧‧Bottom frame parts

356‧‧‧ disc

358‧‧‧ disc

360a‧‧‧ front plate or cover

360b‧‧‧back plate or cover

362‧‧‧Flat substrate

362a‧‧‧Central Part

362b‧‧‧Central Part

364‧‧‧ Shock Absorbing Element

366‧‧‧IR filter

368‧‧‧ distal side

370‧‧‧ proximal side

372‧‧‧ Notch or recess

380‧‧‧Three-phase EAP actuator

382a‧‧‧Frame side

382b‧‧‧Frame side

384a‧‧‧Hot EAP film

384b‧‧‧Grounded EAP film

386‧‧‧electrode area

388‧‧‧Circular ground electrode

390‧‧‧Sheet spring biasing mechanism

392‧‧‧Base

394‧‧‧Adjustment

396‧‧‧Flex point

398‧‧‧ inner casing block

410‧‧‧ Structure

412‧‧‧Mirror tube

414‧‧‧Shell assembly

416‧‧‧Offset parts

418‧‧‧ annular diaphragm

420a‧‧‧ inner side wall

420b‧‧‧Outer side wall

422‧‧‧Adjustment

430‧‧‧ lens barrel assembly

432‧‧‧Mirror tube

434‧‧‧Separable flange

435‧‧‧ top cover

436‧‧‧Adjustment

437‧‧‧External thread

438‧‧‧ top part

439‧‧‧ thread

440‧‧‧ Grooves or indentations

442‧‧‧ Shell

444‧‧‧ calibration tool

446‧‧‧Working end

448‧‧‧ lens assembly

450‧‧‧Mirror configuration

452‧‧‧ Shell

456‧‧‧Flange

458‧‧‧ openings or windows

460‧‧‧ Buffer block or protrusion

462‧‧‧Indentation

464‧‧‧Window

470‧‧‧ lens system

472‧‧‧ lens

472a‧‧‧ front side of the lens

474‧‧‧Internal frame parts

476‧‧‧Outer frame parts

478‧‧‧EAP film

480‧‧‧ coil spring

482‧‧‧ Backboard

488‧‧‧ arrow

490a‧‧ inside frame

490b‧‧‧External framework

492a‧‧ inside frame

492b‧‧‧External framework

494‧‧‧EAP film

496‧‧‧EAP film

498‧‧‧Top housing parts

500‧‧‧Intermediate housing parts

502‧‧‧Bottom housing parts

504‧‧‧ arrow

506‧‧‧ arrow

510‧‧‧biphase lens system

520‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

522‧‧‧ lens

524‧‧‧Lens frame

525‧‧‧ arrow

526‧‧‧Transducer diaphragm

528‧‧‧Double-cut cone EAP actuator

532‧‧‧ inner frame or cover

534‧‧‧External framework

534a‧‧‧External framework

534b‧‧‧External framework

535‧‧‧ arrow

536a‧‧ inside frame

536b‧‧ inside frame

538‧‧‧External framework

540‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

544‧‧‧Transducer diaphragm

548‧‧‧EAP actuator unit

550‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

552‧‧‧ actuator section

554‧‧‧Mechanical lens drive part or assembly

555a‧‧ inside frame

555b‧‧‧Internal framework

556a, 556b‧‧‧ outer frame

558a, 558b‧‧‧ bottom shell section

560‧‧‧First drive board

562‧‧‧ proximal end of the first driver board

564‧‧‧Second drive board

566a, 566b‧‧‧ linkage pairs

568a, 568b‧‧‧ linkage pairs

572‧‧‧Guide bars

574‧‧‧ top shell

576‧‧‧ optical axis

578‧‧‧ lens opening

580‧‧‧Mixed lens shift mechanism

582‧‧‧ actuator section

584‧‧‧EAP transducer

586‧‧‧ coil spring

588‧‧‧ optical axis

590‧‧ hood

592‧‧‧First drive board

594‧‧‧Second drive board

596‧‧‧ linkage mechanism

600‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

602‧‧‧Lens assembly/tube

604‧‧‧rail

604a‧‧ ‧ end of rail

605‧‧‧ Direction

606‧‧‧ bearing

607‧‧‧Axial

608a‧‧‧ Film stacking

608b‧‧‧Top actuation section

610‧‧‧thickness mode actuator EAP film

610a‧‧‧electrode layer pattern

612‧‧‧Flat actuator EAP film

612a‧‧‧electrode layer pattern

614a-614c‧‧‧Flexible material layer

616‧‧‧Central hole or aperture

618‧‧‧ Planar actuated EAP film

620a, 620b‧‧ layer

622‧‧‧ holes or apertures

625‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

626a-626d‧‧‧ lens level

627‧‧‧Incision

628‧‧‧ pillar

630a‧‧‧Actuator匣

630b‧‧‧Actuator匣

632‧‧‧ single-phase linear actuator

634‧‧‧Two-phase planar actuator

636a‧‧‧parts that can be separately active

636b‧‧‧a part of a separate activity

636c‧‧‧Single EAP film

638a‧‧‧output parts

638b‧‧‧External components

640‧‧‧ spacers

642‧‧‧linear guide

644‧‧‧ Push rod

646a, 646b‧‧‧ clutch or circuit breaker

648‧‧‧ bearing

650‧‧‧Lens displacement system

652‧‧‧Actuator

654‧‧‧Actuator

656‧‧‧Mirror tube

658‧‧‧ Focus lens assembly

660‧‧‧Focusless lens assembly

662‧‧‧Mirror tube

664‧‧‧ coil spring

666‧‧‧Horizontal structure

668a, 668b, 668c‧‧‧ outer frame or output unit

670‧‧‧EAP film

672‧‧‧Internal frame or output unit

674‧‧‧Internal frame or output unit

676a, 676b‧‧‧ EAP film

678‧‧‧Second coil spring

680‧‧‧ arrow

682‧‧‧ arrow

690‧‧‧displacement mechanism

692‧‧‧Outer frame fasteners

694‧‧‧Central output disc or part

696‧‧‧Multiphase EAP

696a‧‧‧film

698‧‧‧ pivot

700‧‧‧displacement mechanism

704‧‧‧output parts

706‧‧‧Multiphase film

706a‧‧‧membrane section

708‧‧•Spring biasing mechanism

710‧‧‧Shutter/Aperture System

712‧‧‧Actuator

714‧‧‧Outer frame parts

715‧‧‧Circular opening

716‧‧‧Internal frame parts

717‧‧‧ hole

718a‧‧‧Duplex EAP film

718b‧‧‧Duplex EAP film

720a‧‧‧ top board

720b‧‧‧floor

722‧‧‧Rotating ring

723‧‧‧匣

724‧‧‧ leaves

725a, 725b‧‧‧ openings

726‧‧ ‧ sales

727‧‧‧ circle

730‧‧‧Cam follower slot

732‧‧‧Cam pin

736‧‧‧Cam Pin

740‧‧‧membrane structure

742‧‧‧ dielectric film

744‧‧‧hard film substrate

746‧‧‧Flexible electrode

748‧‧‧harder electrode

750‧‧‧Lens displacement system

752‧‧‧ unimorph EAP film structure

754‧‧‧Lens tube or lens assembly

756‧‧‧Base parts

758‧‧‧ arrow

760‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

762‧‧‧ lens barrel or lens assembly

764‧‧‧Lens 匣

765‧‧‧ arrow

766‧‧‧rail

770‧‧‧Actuator

772a‧‧‧ more flexible side

772b‧‧‧ harder side

780‧‧‧EAP actuator

782‧‧‧Ground electrode pattern

784‧‧‧High voltage electrode pattern

786a, 786b, 786c‧‧ ‧ binding posts

788‧‧‧ arrow

790‧‧‧EAP actuator

792‧‧‧Ground electrode pattern

796a, 796b‧‧‧ binding posts

798a, 798b‧‧ ‧ bus bars

800‧‧‧ arrow

810‧‧‧Lens displacement mechanism

812‧‧‧EAP film

813‧‧‧Top case/cover

814‧‧‧ heating element

815a‧‧‧Resistive trace

816‧‧‧ interval

818‧‧‧Electrical contacts

820‧‧‧Lens displacement system

822a, 822b‧‧‧ electrodes

824‧‧‧Mirror tube

826‧‧‧ casing wall

828‧‧‧ Shell

830‧‧‧Actuator biasing spring

830a‧‧‧Grounding lead

830b‧‧‧Power/Sense Leads

840‧‧‧Aperture/shutter mechanism

842‧‧‧Floor base

844‧‧‧ blades

845‧‧‧ pivot point

846‧‧‧Leverage arm

848‧‧‧Flexing Department

850‧‧‧Adjustment

852a‧‧‧First pivot point

852b‧‧‧Second pivot point

854‧‧‧ aperture

856‧‧‧ notch

858a‧‧‧Outer frame parts

858b‧‧‧Internal frame parts

860a‧‧‧EAP segment

860b‧‧‧EAP segment

860c‧‧ arrow

862‧‧‧ hole

1A and 1B are respectively a cross-sectional perspective view and an exploded assembly view of an optical lens system of the present invention using an electroactive polymer actuator configured to provide autofocus; FIGS. 2A and 2B provide for prior to application of a voltage. And a schematic illustration of an electroactive polymer film for use with the optical system of the present invention; FIG. 3 is a cross section of another optical lens system of the present invention using another type of electroactive polymer actuator for focus control FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B are respectively a cross-sectional perspective view and an exploded assembly view of another optical lens system using an actuator combination to control each of zoom and auto focus; FIGS. 5A and 5B are control zooms. 6A through 6C are cross-sectional views showing the progressive phase of actuation of the transducer configuration of Figs. 5A and 5B; Figs. 7A and 7B are configured to provide autofocus and image, respectively. FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the optical lens system of the present invention; FIG. 8 is an exploded assembly view of the image stabilization system of the lens system of FIGS. 7A and 7B; FIGS. 9A and 9B are respectively FIG. image A top plan view and a bottom plan view of the electrode configuration of the electroactive polymer transducer of the stator; FIGS. 10A and 10B are respectively a framed electroactive polymer transducer that can be used with the image stabilization device of FIG. Top view plan and elevation of an embodiment Figure 10C and Figure 10D are top plan and bottom plan views, respectively, of the electroactive film used in the transducer of Figures 10A and 10B; Figures 11A and 11B show the passive of the lens system of Figures 7A and 7B, respectively. Hardness and load response; Figure 12A is a perspective view of a leaf spring biasing member that can be used to bias the EAP autofocus actuator of the present invention; Figures 12B and 12C show the blade spring biasing member of Figure 12A in operative A perspective cross-sectional view and a top view of an optical lens system of the present invention; FIG. 13 is a perspective cross-sectional view of another optical lens system of the present invention using an integrated plate spring biasing member; FIGS. 14A and 14B are respectively A perspective cross-sectional view of a lens system housing with and without an associated lens barrel having another type of integrated spring biasing member; FIGS. 15A and 15B are assembled lens barrels for use with the lens system of the present invention. And a perspective view and a cross-sectional view of the flange assembly, wherein the assembly provides an adjustable barrel design for focus calibration purposes; and Figure 15C illustrates the infinity used to calibrate the barrel assembly of Figures 15A and 15B Focus Figure 16A and Figure 16B are perspective and cross-sectional views of another lens barrel assembly having an adjustable flange design for focus calibration purposes; Figures 17A and 17B are provided to provide very compact A cross-sectional view of a lens system configured with single-phase and two-phase actuators of a low profile shape factor; 18A and 18B are perspective and cross-sectional views of an exemplary EAP actuator-based lens shifting mechanism of the present invention; FIGS. 19A and 19B are respectively another EAP lens shifting mechanism that can be used with the present invention. FIG. 20A and FIG. 20B are respectively a perspective view and a cross-sectional view of another lens shifting mechanism using an EAP actuator and a mechanical link; FIG. 21 is another hybrid lens shifting system of the present invention; FIG. 22A and FIG. 22B are respectively a perspective view and a cross-sectional view of a "strip" type lens displacement mechanism of the present invention; FIGS. 23A and 23B are respectively a multi-stage "foot" type lens displacement mechanism of the present invention; FIG. 24A is a schematic illustration of a cross section of the actuator 匣 of the lens shifting mechanism of FIGS. 23A and 23B; FIGS. 24B to 24F schematically illustrate the actuator during the actuation cycle and Figure 25A to Figure 25C are cross-sectional views of the multi-actuator lens shifting system of the present invention; Figures 26A and 26B are cross-sections of the inactive and active state of the lens image stabilization system of the present invention; Figure 27A to Figure 27C are A cross-sectional view of another lens image stabilization system of the present invention in various active states; Figure 28 is an exploded view of the aperture/shutter mechanism of the present invention suitable for use with the subject lens system and other known lens systems; Figure 28A is Figure 28 is a side view of the rotating ring of the shutter/aperture mechanism; 29A to 29C show the aperture/shutter mechanism of Fig. 28 in a fully open, partially opened, and fully closed state, respectively; Figs. 30A and 30B are unimorph actuator films for use in the lens shift mechanism of the present invention; Cross-sectional view; FIG. 31A and FIG. 31B respectively illustrate side views of another lens shifting mechanism of the present invention in an inactive and active state using the unimorph actuator film of FIGS. 30A and 30B; FIG. And Figure 32B illustrates a side view of another lens shifting mechanism of the present invention using a unimorph actuator; Figures 33A and 33B illustrate certain conditions for handling the surrounding environment in which the lens system is operated (e.g., Humidity) to optimize the performance of the features of the EAP actuator; Figure 34 shows a cross-sectional view of the lens displacement system of the present invention using another configuration to handle ambient conditions; Figures 34A and 34B are Figure 34 A perspective view and a plan view of a peripheral condition control mechanism of the system; FIG. 35 shows a cross-sectional view of another lens shifting system of the present invention having a lens position sensor; FIG. 36A is a mechanical component portion of the shutter/aperture mechanism of the present invention; A perspective view of another variation; FIGS. 36B and 36C illustrate the shutter/aperture of FIG. 36A in a fully open and fully closed state, respectively; and FIG. 36D is a diagram operatively coupled to the EAP actuator of the present invention; A perspective view of the 36A's organization.

300‧‧‧Optical lens system

302‧‧‧Lens module

304‧‧‧Image Stabilization Module

306‧‧‧Image Sensor

310‧‧‧Actuator

312‧‧‧Mirror tube

314‧‧‧ lens assembly

314a, 314b, 314c, 314d‧‧ lens

316‧‧‧ Shell

318‧‧‧ casing wall

320‧‧‧EAP actuator

322‧‧‧External framework

324‧‧‧ bottom shell

325‧‧‧EAP film

326‧‧‧ top shell

328‧‧‧Inside disc or cover part

330‧‧‧Transparent or translucent cover

332‧‧‧ coil spring

334‧‧‧The rear end of the casing

335‧‧‧ arrow

336‧‧‧Flange

338‧‧‧"hot" side/EAP film

344‧‧‧Electric adjustment piece

362‧‧‧Flat substrate

364‧‧‧ Shock Absorbing Element

366‧‧‧IR filter

Claims (82)

  1. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis, the lens unit having a linear bearing surface; an electroactive polymer actuator including a frame An extended electroactive film positioned adjacent to the lens unit, wherein movement of the actuator causes the lens unit to move along the focus axis; and a linear guide adjacent to the linear bearing surface for maintaining The position of the lens unit.
  2. The lens shifting system of claim 1, further comprising a biasing mechanism for biasing the lens unit along the focus axis.
  3. A lens shifting system according to claim 2, wherein the bias of the lens unit stretches a diaphragm of one of the electroactive polymer actuators into a frustoconical shape.
  4. The lens shifting system of claim 2, wherein the biasing mechanism comprises a coil spring surrounding the lens unit, and wherein the linear guide is positioned between the coil spring and an outer surface of the lens unit.
  5. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the linear guide is a sleeve wall extending from an outer casing that at least partially encases the lens unit.
  6. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the linear guide comprises at least one rail extending parallel to the focus axis.
  7. The lens shifting system of claim 6, wherein the lens unit comprises a platform having an opening for receiving the at least one rail.
  8. The lens shifting system of claim 2, wherein the biasing mechanism comprises a plate that is located between the linear guide and an outer surface of the lens unit Spring mechanism.
  9. The lens shifting system of claim 8, wherein the leaf spring mechanism has a base ring surrounding the lens unit and a plurality of radially extending tabs that engage a surface of the one of the electroactive actuators.
  10. The lens shifting system of claim 2, wherein the biasing mechanism is integrally formed with the lens unit.
  11. The lens shifting system of claim 10, wherein the biasing mechanism is further formed integrally with an outer casing that at least partially encases the lens unit.
  12. The lens shifting system of claim 2, wherein the biasing mechanism comprises an annular diaphragm extending between the lens unit and the outer casing, wherein the diaphragm has a negative rate spring bias.
  13. The lens shifting system of claim 12, wherein the diaphragm comprises a low viscosity elastomeric material.
  14. The lens shifting system of claim 2, wherein the biasing mechanism comprises at least two spring tabs extending between the lens unit and the outer casing.
  15. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the movement of the lens unit changes a focal length of the lens unit.
  16. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the at least one lens is a focus lens.
  17. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the movement of the lens unit changes the magnification of the lens unit.
  18. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the lens unit is carried by a lens driver mechanism whereby movement of the actuator causes the lens actuator mechanism to move.
  19. The lens shifting system of claim 18, wherein the lens unit comprises a focusless lens assembly.
  20. The lens shifting system of claim 19, comprising a plurality of lens stages, each stage comprising a lens, wherein the lens driver mechanism translates the plurality of stages at different rates.
  21. In the lens shifting system of claim 20, the ratio of the translation rate of one of the lens stages to the translation rate of the other lens level defines a telescopic motion.
  22. The lens shifting system of claim 20, wherein each lens is located within a lens plate carried by the lens driver mechanism.
  23. The lens shifting system of claim 22, wherein the lens actuator mechanism further comprises a pair of links extending between the lens plates.
  24. The lens shifting system of claim 1, further comprising a carriage for preventing the lens unit from moving out of an infinity focus position.
  25. The lens shifting system of claim 1, further comprising at least one filter along the focus axis.
  26. The lens shifting system of claim 1, further comprising a half transparent cover over a front end of one of the lens units.
  27. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the lens unit is configured to calibrate a focus of the lens unit.
  28. The lens shifting system of claim 27, wherein one of the housing portions of the lens unit includes at least one indentation for receiving a calibration tool.
  29. The lens shifting system of claim 1, further comprising a sensor for sensing the position of the lens unit.
  30. The lens shifting system of claim 29, wherein the sensor comprises a pair of Separating electrodes, the first electrode is positioned on an outer surface of the lens unit, and the second electrode is positioned on a surface of the linear guide facing the outer surface of the lens unit, wherein the lens unit is opposite The capacitance between the electrodes is changed at the position of the linear guide.
  31. The lens shifting system of claim 1 further comprising a heating element positioned to control the temperature of at least a portion of the electroactive polymer actuator.
  32. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the lens unit has a cylindrical configuration, and the linear bearing surface is an outer surface of the lens barrel.
  33. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the lens unit comprises a plurality of lenses, wherein a most distal lens is a focusing lens, and two or more lenses closest to the lens are afocal lenses.
  34. The lens shifting system of claim 1, wherein the electroactive polymer actuator comprises a membrane, wherein the membrane is configured to deflect in only one direction when in motion.
  35. The lens shifting system of claim 34, wherein the film comprises an elastomeric dielectric layer bonded to a substrate material, the substrate material having a higher modulus of elasticity than the dielectric layer.
  36. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis, wherein the lens unit is biased in an infinite direction; a bracket for preventing the lens unit from being Moving in a macro direction out of an initial macro position; and an electroactive polymer actuator comprising a body extending within a frame An electroactive membrane is positioned adjacent to the lens unit, wherein movement of the actuator causes the lens unit to move along the focus axis toward an infinity position.
  37. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis and movable in opposite directions along the focus axis; and a dual phase electroactive polymer actuator An electroactive film extending within a frame and positioned adjacent to the lens unit, wherein movement of the actuator moves the lens unit along the focus axis, wherein the actuator includes opposing relative to each other A frustoconical diaphragm facing the face.
  38. The lens shifting system of claim 37, comprising a plurality of dual phase electroactive polymer actuators stacked in series.
  39. The lens shifting system of claim 38, wherein the adjacent actuators are biased apart by a spring.
  40. The lens shifting system of claim 39, wherein the concave sides of the frustoconical diaphragms are toward each other.
  41. The lens shifting system of claim 40, wherein the convex sides of the frustoconical diaphragms face each other.
  42. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis; and an electroactive polymer actuator including an electroactive film extending within a frame and adjacent Positioned in the lens unit, wherein the movement of the actuator causes the lens unit to move along the focus axis, the actuator comprising a An electroactive polymer film wherein the film deflects in only one direction when in motion.
  43. The lens shifting system of claim 42, wherein the film comprises an elastomeric dielectric layer bonded to a substrate material, the substrate material having a higher modulus of elasticity than the dielectric layer.
  44. The lens shifting system of claim 42, wherein the actuator further comprises a fixed base member, wherein the film extends between the lens unit and the base member.
  45. The lens shifting system of claim 44, wherein the film has an arcuate configuration, wherein the substrate material is on the concave side of the film.
  46. The lens shifting system of claim 44, wherein the film has a folded configuration.
  47. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis; and an electroactive polymer actuator including an electroactive film extending within a frame and adjacent Positioned in the lens unit, wherein movement of the actuator moves the lens unit along the focus axis, the actuator including an electrode configuration configured to generate heat.
  48. The lens shifting system of claim 47, wherein the electrodes are configured in series.
  49. The lens shifting system of claim 47, wherein the electrodes are configured to be connected in parallel.
  50. A lens displacement system comprising: a lens unit comprising at least one lens positioned along a focus axis; an electroactive polymer actuator comprising an electroactive film extending within a frame and positioned adjacent to the lens unit, wherein Actuating the actuator to move the lens unit along the focus axis, the actuator comprising an electroactive polymer film; and a heating element positioned adjacent to the electroactive polymer film and having a match A cross section of a section of an electroactive polymer film.
  51. The lens shifting system of claim 50, wherein the heating element has a frustoconical shape.
  52. An apparatus for use with an optical system, the apparatus comprising: at least one pivotally mounted aperture blade; and an electroactive polymer actuator comprising an electroactive membrane extending within a frame adjacent to The aperture vanes are positioned, wherein movement of the actuator moves the aperture vanes to adjust the passage of light through a lens aperture.
  53. The apparatus of claim 52, comprising a plurality of cooperating aperture blades provided in a planar configuration.
  54. The device of claim 53, wherein each of the aperture vanes has a curved teardrop shape, and wherein the vanes are annularly aligned with adjacent vanes having at least a portion that overlap each other.
  55. The device of claim 54, wherein the actuator comprises a dual phase planar film extending between the outer frame member and the inner frame member, wherein the inner frame member has an annular opening for transmitting light to the lens aperture, And another One of the phase activities causes the blades to pivotally move in one direction, and the other phase of the motion causes the blades to pivotally move in opposite directions.
  56. The apparatus of claim 52, further comprising a flexing mechanism cooperating with a pivot end of the aperture vane, wherein after activation, the electroactive polymer actuator causes the flexure mechanism to pivot the aperture vane One part of the rotation of the ground is deflected.
  57. The device of claim 52, wherein the free end of one of the aperture blades has a light passage aperture therethrough.
  58. A lens shifting system comprising: a lens unit including at least one lens positioned along a focus axis; and two electroactive polymer actuator mechanisms each including an electroactive film extending within a frame and Positioned at opposite ends of the lens unit, wherein the movement of the actuators causes the lens unit to translate relative to the actuators.
  59. The lens shifting system of claim 58, further comprising at least one rail extending between the actuator mechanisms, the lens unit being slidably coupled to the at least one rail, wherein the actuator mechanisms are active A translation of the lens unit in an incremental manner along the focus axis is provided.
  60. The lens shifting system of claim 59, wherein at least one of the actuator mechanisms includes at least two separate activities for moving the at least one rail along the focus axis and in a lateral direction of the focus axis Part of it.
  61. The lens shifting system of claim 60, wherein each of the separately movable parts The sub-layer comprises an electroactive film layer, wherein the layers are stacked.
  62. The lens shifting system of claim 61, wherein the at least one film layer provides thickness mode actuation when active, and at least one other film layer provides in-plane actuation when active.
  63. The lens shifting system of claim 60, wherein the in-plane actuation causes the at least one rail to angularly displace.
  64. The lens shifting system of claim 59, wherein the lens unit comprises a plurality of lens stages including lenses that are necessarily located within a platform, wherein at least one of the lens stages is translatable along the focus axis independently of the other lens levels.
  65. The lens shifting system of claim 64, further comprising a push rod extending between the two actuator mechanisms and operatively coupled to the two actuator mechanisms, the push rod passing through each lens platform One of the inner apertures is releasably engageable with each lens platform.
  66. The lens shifting system of claim 65, further comprising a clutch mechanism associated with each of the lens platforms for cooperatively engaging the pusher.
  67. The lens shifting system of claim 58, wherein each actuator mechanism includes two separately movable portions for moving the lens unit along the focus axis and in a lateral direction of the focus axis.
  68. A lens shifting system according to claim 67, wherein one of the movable portions comprises a single-phase linear actuator and the other movable portion comprises a two-phase planar actuator stacked in series with each other.
  69. The lens shifting system of claim 68, wherein the actuators are independently and selectively controllable to translate the push rod axially and laterally to Provide a sequence to be actuated.
  70. The lens shifting system of claim 58, wherein the lens unit comprises a focus lens portion and a focusless lens portion, wherein the first actuator causes the focus lens portion to translate relative to the focusless lens portion along the focus axis And the second actuator translates the afocal lens portion along the focus axis, wherein the actuators are selectively and independently movable.
  71. The lens shifting system of claim 70, wherein the two lens portions are biased away from each other by a spring.
  72. An optical lens system comprising: at least one lens; an image sensor positioned to receive an image from the at least one lens; and at least one electroactive polymer actuator including an extension within a frame An electroactive membrane and for selectively stabilizing the movement experienced by the image sensor.
  73. The optical system of claim 72, wherein the at least one lens is a focus lens.
  74. The optical system of claim 72, wherein the at least one lens is a zoom lens.
  75. The optical system of claim 72, wherein the actuator is configured to selectively stabilize movement of the image sensor in an associated x-y plane.
  76. The optical system of claim 72, wherein the actuator is configured to selectively stabilize movement of the image sensor in an associated z-direction.
  77. The optical system of claim 72, further comprising an image inserted in the image A bearing structure is coupled between the sensor and the actuator to facilitate movement of the output motion from the actuator to the image sensor.
  78. The optical system of claim 77, wherein the bearing structure comprises a planar substrate having a plurality of impact absorbing elements.
  79. The optical system of claim 78, wherein the substrate comprises an electronic circuit that provides electrical contact between the image sensor and the control electronics.
  80. The optical system of claim 72, wherein the actuator comprises an electroactive membrane transducer comprising a plurality of independently movable portions.
  81. A method of stabilizing an image provided by an optical lens system, the method comprising: providing at least one optical lens and an image sensor positioned to receive an image from the lens; and selectively actuating an electric The living polymer actuator includes an electroactive film extending within a frame and adjusting the position of the image sensor in response to motion experienced by the image sensor.
  82. The method of claim 81, wherein selectively actuating the actuator comprises selectively actuating a plurality of electrically active portions of the actuator, wherein the portions are independently movable.
TW097147738A 2005-03-21 2008-12-10 Optical lens image stabilization systems TWI457597B (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/953,815 US7893965B2 (en) 2007-08-08 2007-12-10 Optical lens image stabilization systems
US11/953,789 US8842355B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2007-12-10 Lens shutter and aperture control devices
US11/953,784 US7679839B2 (en) 2007-12-10 2007-12-10 Optical lens displacement systems
US11/953,798 US8054566B2 (en) 2005-03-21 2007-12-10 Optical lens displacement systems

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TWI468847B (en) * 2011-07-05 2015-01-11 Asia Optical Co Inc Camera of the optical image stabilizer
CN103135195A (en) * 2011-12-01 2013-06-05 佛山普立华科技有限公司 Zoom lens and imaging device
JP2018169496A (en) * 2017-03-30 2018-11-01 日本電産サンキョー株式会社 Optical unit with shake correction function

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