Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) June 21, 2006
Frost & Sullivan selected Artificial Muscle, Inc. (AMI, http://www.artificialmuscle.com) as the recipient of the 2006 Actuator Technology Product Innovation of the Year Award for the development of the Universal Muscle Actuator™ (UMA™). UMA is based on AMI's patented Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle™ (EPAM™) technology. EPAM’s uniqueness resides in its light-weight, high-efficiency, high power density, and silent operation characteristics.
“Artificial Muscle Inc’s EPAM-based UMA technology has the potential to revolutionize the small actuator industry because of its market-changing light weight, high power density characteristics,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Vishnu Sivadevan. “For these reasons, Frost & Sullivan was compelled to bestow the 2006 Actuator Technology Product Innovation Award to Artificial Muscle Inc.”
Artificial Muscle’s EPAM technology was originally conceived and developed at SRI International and in 2004, AMI was spun off from SRI to exclusively commercialize artificial muscle technology. The development of EPAM technology marks a milestone in the last fifty years of progress in the field of actuator technology as EPAM could serve as a mass alternative to existing linear actuator technologies.
Actuator technology is an indispensable component of virtually any device that requires movement. Small actuation systems are ubiquitous in applications that require high precision and reliability in the consumer electronics, medical device, automotive, and aerospace sectors because all demand light-weight, high-performance, highly-reliable actuators.
EPAM’s emergence as a mass alternative to existing technologies is due to the elegant simplicity, superior performance and utility, and the numerous product configurations that can be built with it. Artificial Muscle’s EPAM technology has greater power density than alternative smart material-based technologies, including magnetostrictive materials, piezoelectric ceramics, and shape memory alloys.
EPAM-based Universal Muscle Actuators can also be used to build pumps, valves, linear actuators, and generators for various applications as well as act as a sensor for pressure or displacement. The technology can be built into diaphragm actuators, planar actuators, roll linear actuators, and speaker actuators, and is clearly suited to a very broad range of applications. Design guides and a technology white paper are available at
“Actuator technology is progressing rapidly and is poised to create a revolution in a wide range of industries” said Vishnu Sivadevan. For example, in the automotive industry; a high-end automobile, may contain up to 200 actuators, including those used for valves, transmissions, seat positioners, mirror positioners, door locks, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls, and wiper motors. Artificial Muscle’s UMA technology would not only greatly enhance the implementation of drive-by-wire systems on a large scale, but also dramatically reduce the weight of future automobiles. In fact, the development of an EPAM actuator-based valve for a future camless engine is on AMI’s technology roadmap.”
Such technology finds use in industrial, consumer electronics, automotive, medical, and electronic sectors in applications such as fluid pumps, positioners, robot grippers, proportional and on-off valves, feedback devices, hospital infusion pumps, lens positioners for cameras, and flexible keypads. AMI has also generated great interest in the deployment of the EPAM technology for clean energy generation. The actuator could also be used to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy for energy generation for wave or wind power.
"In addition to fundamental actuator technology R&D, AMI has been constantly focused on improving the reliability and manufacturability of its technology," notes Sivadevan. "The Universal Muscle Actuator (UMA) is the first artificial muscle-based actuator technology that is ready for commercial manufacturing applications.”
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in new products and technologies within their industry. Artificial Muscle Inc. has shown innovation by launching a broad line of market-ready products based on its devotion to and execution of its electroactive polymer-based Universal Muscle Actuator technology .
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Artificial Muscle Inc.
Artificial Muscle Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based high-technology company that designs and manufactures actuator and sensing components based on a new technology platform called Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscle (EPAM). EPAM technology is called artificial muscle because, much like human muscle, it efficiently converts one form of energy (electrical field energy) into mechanical motion. It offers significant advantages over typical electromagnetic-based technologies because it is much lighter, smaller, quieter and cheaper, and offers more controllable and flexible configurations. EPAM devices serve as light-weight, highly-efficient alternatives to linear actuators, small motors, generators, sensors, and speakers used in products ranging from automobiles to medical infusion pumps to clean energy generation. AMI addresses a multi-billion dollar actuator market with artificial muscle-based components for industrial, medical, consumer, automotive, and aerospace applications. For more information, visit http://www.artificialmuscle.com.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. For more information, visit http://www.frost.com.
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