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Hidden Buttons using HASEL Actuator Technology

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Vehicle interiors are trending toward sleek, minimalistic designs. This is especially true with buttons. As modern cars have more and more features, designing for the user experience in commanding those features presents a challenge. Imagine if every feature in the modern car had a separate button - the entire car would be covered in buttons! To prevent overwhelming users with buttons, designers are opting for integrating multiple features into one user interface, such as center console buttons or dashboard touch screens.

Another solution is to hide the buttons so that they present themselves only when sought by the user. A flat and smooth interior panel where the button appears at the appropriate time is increasingly in concept cars and pre-production models. However, this solution usually requires at least two separate components - one actuator to present the button and a separate sensor to register the user input. A third component, some kind of haptic actuator, is required if the solution is to provide input acknowledgement back to the user. Two to three separate components are often too large, heavy, and expensive to justify this solution, and the additional supporting systems add too much complexity.

HASEL actuator technology from Artimus Robotics offers a superior solution for hidden buttons (also called button-on-demand, hidden-to-lit). Since HASEL actuators have intelligent self-sensing capabilities, each HASEL actuator is also a sensor. This reduces the number of separate components needed for the hidden button, as the actuator that presents the button can also sense the user input, reducing the cost and weight of the design solution. Additionally, HASEL actuators offer superior haptic capabilities, meaning that a wide bandwidth of response frequencies can acknowledge back to the user that the input was received (and separate haptic responses can confirm or reject the input).

Want to learn more about HASEL actuators for hidden button (button-on-demand, hidden to lit) applications? Contact Artimus Robotics at

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

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