In the early 1990's, several government agencies approached SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) in Menlo Park, California, to address the inefficiency of conventional electro-magnetic actuators that were commonly used in robotics. These agencies commissioned the research and development of a new generation of actuation technology based on electroactive polymers (EAP).

Welcome to that new generation.

Now commercialized exclusively by Artificial Muscle Inc, EAP technology consists of a thin layer of dielectric polymer film sandwiched between compliant electrodes. When voltage is applied across the electrodes, the electrodes attract each other and the film contracts in thickness and expands in area. This basic operation can be seen below.

We transform the EAP film into an actuator with mechanisms that convert the film’s expansion into motion in the desired directions, allowing EAP to achieve significant motion with less power as compared to other technologies.

In addition to fast response times, our actuators’ performance boasts nearly silent operation volume. And given this entire package is a fraction of a millimeter thick, our EAP technology is remarkably customizable, able to match the needs of your product by way of any design imaginable.
EAP Uses
The utility that drives EAP technology is as much about flexibility and versatility as responsiveness. We’ve found that there's great interest in non-haptic EAP, and to that end we’re currently collaborating with leaders in the following areas of expertise:
Medical • Pumps • Sensors • Optics • Energy Generation • Valves • Braille • Robotics