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Small Actuators for Millimeter-Scale Applications

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Artimus Robotics typically offers soft electrostatic actuators for cm-scale applications. Most of the actuators have dimensions of several centimeters and deliver several millimeters of displacement under load. The photo below shows a standard E-0025 actuator with a nominal diameter of 5 cm.


E-0025 Actuator


While actuators on this scale are useful for a variety of applications, there are certain applications that only require small displacement – on the order of 1 mm or fewer – and have considerable size constraints.


To meet the needs of these small-scale applications, Artimus has developed very small actuators. These actuators weigh less than 1 gram, have widths of 7 mm or fewer, and thicknesses of several hundred microns. These compact actuators provide electrically controlled, high-bandwidth, and silent motion without the use of moving parts or specialized materials that contain hazardous substances such as lead. The photo below shows an example of an actuator in this form factor.


Small actuator | 50 mm x 7 mm x 0.4 mm | Mass: 0.3 g


The video below demonstrates the dynamic performance of these small actuators and alludes to possible applications requiring very small form factors. Note that the actuators are electrically controlled. Actuation is controlled by an analog voltage signal which allows for variable movements and operation on a wide range of frequencies.



In terms of performance, the force-displacement curve below gives a representative example of actuators on this scale. This performance can be altered in several ways to increase force, displacement, or both.


Representative plot of force vs. displacement for a miniature actuator


These small actuators are ideally suited for applications requiring a displacement of 1-2 mm (0.04” – 0.08”) or less & forces up to 3-4 N (0.7-0.9 lb). Example applications include pumps, valves, positioners, and haptic actuators.


Application Example | Actuator for Haptic Feedback



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 info@artimusrobotics.com.

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