Case 13906

Flexible Actuator Based on Shape Memory Alloy Sheet


Shape Memory Alloy (SMA)


Robotics probes, laparoscopic medical probes, micro-lenses positioning


    Require alternatives to traditional actuators for applications where space and weight are limited.


This invention proposes actuators that are based on Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) sheets and are built by combining a basic actuation unit. Depending on the combination of these cells the direction of actuation, the force generated and the expansion of the actuator can be controlled. This design reduces the power required and makes mounting the cell simple since the support points are not heated. The force to weight ratio is 160 for comparable power consumption to commercial electromagnetic motors.

  • Lightweight and low power consumption
  • High weight to force ration (~160)
  • Focalizes heat to avoid structural damage
  • Achieves long strokes, minimum of 57% expansion

  • Professor Daniela Rus (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Eduardo Torres-Jara (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent application 12/896184 filed on October 1, 2010



Last revised:February 16, 2011

>>List of MIT Energy IP<<