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High Voltage Amplifier vs High Voltage Power Supply

Updated: May 4

High voltage electronics products from Artimus Robotics feature high voltage amplifiers with integrated high voltage power supplies. For those less familiar, the difference between a high voltage amplifier and a high voltage power supply can be nuanced. These devices have subtle differences in terms of their accepted industry definitions.

  • A high voltage power supply typically generates a steady state DC output voltage. Consider this a ‘set it and forget it’ output; generally, it is not varied by varying an input voltage. Thus, a high voltage power supply cannot quickly respond to changes in input voltage.

  • A high voltage amplifier, in contrast, takes a low voltage input signal and replicates that at the output at a higher voltage. These are much more capable devices than just a power supply since they can be programmed to have a variable output depending on the input signal.

High voltage electronics products from Artimus Robotics uniquely combine the above functionalities into a single device. A high voltage power supply is used to generate a fixed high voltage rail, and then switches are used to distribute charges from the rail to the output(s). This output voltage can be varied by adjusting the conductivity of the high voltage switches using low voltage input signals, and so the output voltage can be a function of time and can be adjusted to the full scale, 0-100%, of the rail voltage. Thus, an amplifier is created from just one high voltage power supply and a set of switches (high voltage amplifier with integrated high voltage power supply). Additional switches can be connected to the high voltage rail to create a multichannel high voltage electronic module.

The key benefits of this technique are:

  1. This method shifts the dynamic requirements from the high voltage source to the high voltage switches. The result is a smaller, less expensive, and less complex electronic solution compared to a very dynamic high voltage source.

  2. Additionally, this topology can be easily scaled to many independent outputs (or channels) by adding more switches to the system while using only one centralized high voltage source (power supply).

Applications that benefit from multichannel control include electroactive polymers like dielectric elastomers and HASELs, and other electrostatic-based applications such as electrolaminates, electropneumatics, electrohydrodynamics, electrostatic chucks, piezoelectrics, electrophotography, electrospinning, electrophoresis, electrorheology, electrostatic flocking, corona charging, MEMS, mass spectrometry, electron beam steering, and ion beam steering.

Want to learn more about high voltage electronics development efforts? Contact Artimus Robotics at

About Artimus Robotics

Artimus Robotics designs and manufactures soft electric actuators and high voltage control electronics. 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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