Quieter, More EfficientMarch 1, 2006 By: Barbara G. Goode, Sensors Sensors
Artificial Muscle Inc., (AMI) has introduced what it calls the world's first standard electroactive polymer actuators. The universal muscle actuator (UMA) applies AMI's patented technology to replace conventional actuators used in sensors and numerous other devices and machines.
Federal funding of SRI International research to develop technology for driving robots with more efficient, higher power density actuation led to a technology called electroactive polymer artificial muscle, now being commercialized by Artificial Muscle. Electroactive polymers work much like human muscles, expanding and contracting silently, based on variable voltage input levels. The actuators are lighter, smaller, and less costly than conventional electromagnetic motor-based actuators, says AMI. They are designed to operate silently and offer higher power densities than traditional actuators, and to replace heavy, noisy, and energy-inefficient electromechanical devices such as electric motors, valves, and transmissions. (www.artificialmuscle.com/Linear_Actuator_Applications_Artificial_Muscle.html)