A novel chitosan-based electroactive actuator was fabricated by using chitosan, N, N'-methylenebisacrylamide (MBA), poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride), and gold metal. The constructive effect of crosslinker to the actuator performance was investigated by using various amounts of MBA. The chitosan-based film samples were characterized using Fourier transform infrared analyses, X-ray diffraction analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy analysis, and tensile test. The viscoelastic properties of films were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis. The motion and force generation capabilities and the repeatability of the actuators were also investigated under electrical stimuli up to 21 V. The suitability of the prepared chitosan-based films to be used as actuator for soft robotic applications is verified experimentally. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.