Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Conventional actuators use rigid and inflexible materials, and a growing alternative to conventional actuators is soft actuators. Researchers have begun to design robots out of soft, compliant materials because they are safer and more resistant to damage. They also have advanced many fields, including biometrics and orthotics.
One of the most important components of soft robots is the actuator. An actuator is a component that moves and controls movement. In living organisms, our actuators are our muscles because they respond to stimuli, and then they bend and contract in different directions. Muscles can pull, but they cannot push, so they must work in antagonistic pairs.
The field of robotics has taken a lesson from living organisms and created artificial muscles. Artificial muscles work the same way our muscles work. When activated, they expand or contract, and when released, they relax. The development of muscle-like actuators opens the door to build robots that can perform almost any task. Soft robots can be developed for miniature medical devices to be used in delicate surgeries, wearable exoskeleton or orthotics, and even larger structures for space and maritime exploration.
Artimus Robotics has had a breakthrough in actuation technology by creating an actuator that offers smart, versatile, and compact motion solutions. HASEL (hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic) actuators operate when electrostatic force is applied to a flexible polymer pouch and dielectric liquid, resulting in a controllable shape change.
HASEL actuator technology offers soft, muscle-like performance compared to the rigid components used in automated motion today. Traditional rigid components are costly, energy-consuming, and noisy. If you are looking for something inspired by nature, quiet, and energy-efficient, HASEL actuators may be ideal for your soft robotics application.