Updated: Jul 28
Over $3.5 million has recently been won by Artimus Robotics, an actuator component provider for industries such as automotive, medical devices, defense, and automation. This funding will vault Artimus from research to application-based development. The proprietary HASEL actuation technology has already shown incredible potential in many applications, and now this capital will facilitate optimization of the technology for the best applications.
Sources of the funding include both private and public origins, such as direct contracts from the U.S. Navy, government contracts and grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army, NASA, and the Department of Energy, and multiple commercial contracts from large corporations. The significant support from the U.S. government exemplifies the dual-use potential of Artimus’ technology: leveraging technology development that benefits both government and commercial applications. The diversity in the sources of this funding demonstrates the wide range of potential applications of HASEL actuation technology.
With over $3.5 million in new funding, HASEL technology will advance from a novel area of research to an application-ready motion solution. The capital will be used for HASEL technology improvements necessary for commercial applications. While working with current and potential customers, Artimus has identified the three most critical technical capabilities that HASEL technology must demonstrate to be viable for commercial applications. These are:
Performance: Strength and stroke per actuator volume, also known as energy density, is a key R&D focus area for customers in nearly every industry, including automation and automotive. Artimus will use the funds to translate the deep technical knowledge of material science and mechanical engineering to produce next-generation HASEL actuators with previously unrealized performance.
Lifetime and Reliability: As a vital hardware component, durable and long-lasting HASEL actuators are critical to justifying the business case of HASEL technology in low-or-no downtime applications. Artimus will use the funds to improve the processing and fabrication capabilities, as well as to achieve a comprehensive understanding of failure modes, to access a new level of reliability and robustness of HASEL actuators.
Intelligence: A unique benefit of HASEL actuators is the ability to self-sense force and/or stroke, which has many practical applications. While Artimus has already proven this capability in actuator health diagnostics, failure prediction, and real-time actuator position monitoring, these funds will be used to expand this capability to customer-specific applications, enabling customers to get critical data about their use cases in real-time. The early demonstration of this information has proven very valuable to select use cases and is a high-demand capability in many industries.
According to Dr. Eric Acome, CTO at Artimus Robotics, “Over the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of potential commercial customers to explore the potential of HASEL actuators in their use cases. This new funding, largely supported by the US government, is directly aimed at the most pressing needs of our current and future customers: improvements in reliability, performance, and intelligence. For the past few years, our incredible team of PhD researchers has developed an extremely robust understanding of underlying mechanisms that affect the performance and functionality of the HASEL actuation technology. With these funds, we have the resources we need to leverage our deep background learnings to benefit our customers.”
Artimus Robotics is also using this capital to support a business case for HASEL actuation technology. To compete with existing motion technologies such as pneumatics or servos, the price of HASEL actuators must be low enough to justify their integration. Fortunately, HASEL actuators are made from low-cost and environmentally-friendly materials, but the driving electronics of HASEL actuators have some uncommon components. Part of this funding will be allocated to developing low-cost electronics for HASEL actuators. In the words of Simon Freeman, Program Director at the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E, “I am excited about Artimus Robotics’ HASEL technology as a potentially transformative, inexpensive and pressure-agnostic actuator, but the high-voltage, low-current electronics could be a potential cost barrier. By investing in low-cost electronics development to bring forward standard, silicon-based, high-voltage electronics tailored for maritime applications of HASEL technology, we could redefine what is possible in the deep ocean with low-cost HASEL actuator systems for undersea robotics applications.”
In support of the technology improvements, Artimus Robotics will be expanding, both in physical space and in the number of employees. In the next 12 months, Artimus will be doubling its employee headcount and will be doubling the size of its facility. As explained by Dr. Tim Morrissey, CEO of Artimus Robotics, “Since the founding of Artimus four years ago alongside Dr. Eric Acome, Dr. Nicholas Kellaris, Dr. Shane Mitchell, and Professor Christoph Keplinger, our team has demonstrated an incredible ability to operate and execute to make significant technical and business progress in an extremely efficient manner. Now that we have secured a new level of funding, along with the refined understanding of the value of Artimus' technology for our customers, we are well positioned to harness the full potential of our actuation technology and accelerate our path to market. Artimus’ expertise in materials science and mechanical engineering has brought HASEL actuation technology to the forefront of our customers’ roadmaps. Now, Artimus needs more passionate and talented people as well as expanded cutting-edge facilities to optimize and validate the technology for those customers. I am extremely optimistic about the future of Artimus and look forward to fully harnessing the potential of our team and technology.”
About Artimus Robotics
Artimus Robotics designs and manufactures soft electric actuators. The technology was inspired by nature (muscles) and spun out of the University of Colorado. HASEL (Hydraulically Amplified Self-healing ELectrostatic) actuator technology operates when electrostatic forces are applied to a flexible polymer pouch and dielectric liquid to drive shape change in a soft structure. These principles can be applied to achieve a contracting motion, expanding motion, or other complex deformations. For more information, please visit Artimus Robotics or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.