Actuators are a main component in robotics, and they are devices that exert movement when energy is applied to them. There are several types of actuators, but linear actuators are the most common. Linear actuators are in many of our everyday devices, including our cell phones and vehicles.
Compact actuators can be found in many devices because their small size allows them to fit into tight compartments, such as stage lighting systems, power door locks, and robotics controls.
Small linear actuators don’t have the force of larger actuators, but their major advantages are less maintenance and a smaller footprint. Small electric linear actuators are also quieter than others. They don’t have any noisy valves, air, or pumps, so they can operate quietly while still offering peak performance.
However, traditional small linear actuators are not ideal for every application. In some instances, they are too rigid or heavy for the application. Small pneumatic (air) actuators aren’t good for portable applications because it’s hard to move the air supply system. For these applications, a soft actuator, such as HASEL electric actuators, can be a better solution.
HASEL actuators are soft electric actuators that offer a muscle-like performance. These actuators can be made in a variety of sizes to fit any custom robotics build.
Ultimately, there are a wide variety of actuators available. Each has its pros and cons depending on the scenario they are used in. Still, if an application requires something even more flexible, a soft muscle-like actuator from Artimus Robotics is a great solution.