Currently, conventional actuator systems have a complex mechanics that generate noise and vibrations, which can cause premature wear or disrupt other mechanical elements of the system. This complex and heavy construction also results in a large size which limits its integration in restricted environments. Furthermore, in the case of actuation and displacement measurement on the same side, additional sensor components are also required. The quality and thus the realistic simulation of feedback in combination with limited space available are difficult challenges for a switch. Finally, today's actuators consume a great amount of energy which results in high operating costs.
In the last decade, therefore, the interest into a new technology and "smart materials" has considerably increased.
This is why Datwyler and CTsystems have partnered up to distribute and industrialize the latter's new polymer transducer technology resulting in stacked polymer actuators which replace and outperform conventional actuation technologies, for use in various applications. Some of the improvements of the new technology include: low energy consumption, no complex mechanical parts, a robust and resilient design, and noise-free operation with sensing and haptic/tactile feedback functionalities.