Updated: Jan 31
Department of Defense Army STTR Grant Awarded to Artimus Robotics
On December 4th, 2020, the United States Army awarded Artimus Robotics $166,000 through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase 1 program. The Phase I project seeks to evaluate the feasibility and use of Hydraulically Amplified Self-Healing Electrostatic (HASEL) actuators as the primary mechanism of actuation in human-scale robotic systems. HASEL actuation technology is a new class of smart, soft, and high-speed robotic hardware. The three-phase STTR program requires a small business to collaborate with a research institution, typically a university or nonprofit research institution.
The technical objectives of this study are to develop a model appendage that tightly integrates HASEL actuators with control and feedback using a scheme that is easily implemented and scalable. Artimus Robotics intends to identify paths for improving key performance metrics of HASEL actuators, further understand the performance requirements for different bio-inspired robotic morphologies and feasibility for their implementation, and develop sensing and intelligence for HASEL actuation technology. The results of this study will provide a variety of stakeholders within the Army with a toolkit to implement HASEL technologies in a plethora of next generation defense applications.
Artimus Robotics, a spin out of the University of Colorado Boulder, will partner with Dr. Sean Humbert of the Bio-Inspired Perception and Robotics Laboratory (BPRL) to realize the key deliverables of the project. Through this partnership, Artimus Robotics will further the development and technical capabilities of HASEL actuators, specifically the functionality of its smart, self-sensing feedback features. As Artimus brings intelligent actuation technology forward, the benefits will be extended beyond this Army project, with dual-use applications in industrial automation, consumer devices, and other defense applications.
Dr. Joseph Myers at the Army Research Office (ARO), and the program manager of the STTR project, emphasized the potential impact of Artimus Robotics HASEL actuation technology, stating at the project kickoff meeting: “The Army has identified actuation of robotics as a critical need for a variety of Army stakeholders to one day fully realize the benefits of next generation robotic technologies. We see HASEL actuation technology as a potential game changer in a variety of defense use cases.” The ARO is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory and manages the STTR program.
Dr. Sean Humbert of the University of Colorado Boulder further highlighted “At the Bio-Inspired Perception and Robotics Laboratory, we take inspiration from nature to solve the unique challenges that distributed and highly deformable robotic systems present. Artimus Robotics’ HASEL actuation technology is an ideal testbed for us to apply novel modeling and synthesis tools that we have created to optimize the sensing and actuation aspects of this type of mobility.”
Dr. Timothy Morrissey, CEO and cofounder of Artimus Robotics, provided additional context, “The support from the Army enables Artimus Robotics to accelerate the development of HASEL actuation technology and once again lean into strong relationships with CU Boulder. The advances this STTR project supports will have immediate and direct impact across multiple market segments Artimus is currently active in while also helping our armed forces explore next generation technology. At Artimus, we are honored to be a part of this important national effort.”
About Artimus Robotics
Artimus Robotics is a robotic hardware company that is changing the way the world moves. Providing breakthrough HASEL actuation technology, Artimus Robotics’ actuation solutions offer increased functionality including smart, soft, and versatile actuation systems to solve a variety of motion challenges. With applications ranging from consumer robotics to defense, Artimus has realized early customer traction in markets such as industrial automation, underwater marine vehicles, and human-machine interfaces. To learn more about Artimus Robotics or how you can use HASEL technology in your application, please visit their website and follow the company on our LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About DoD Army STTR
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) seeks small businesses with strong research and development capabilities to pursue and commercialize specific technologies to meet Army objectives. The objectives of the Army SBIR Program include stimulating technological innovation, strengthening the role of small business in meeting Army research and development needs, and increasing the commercial application of Army-supported research or research and development results. You can learn more about DoD and Army SBIR/STTR Programs here.
About BPRL at CU Boulder
The Bio-Inspired Perception and Robotics Laboratory (BPRL) is a facility in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder that conducts research and development in the area of biologically inspired robotics. This lab seeks to distill the fundamental sensing, processing and feedback principles that govern robust behavior in organisms to enable new classes of robotic systems with improved agility, locomotion and autonomy. Learn more about BPRL here.
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