Miniature motors, known as actuators, are mechanical structures typically responsible for moving a system, requiring both a control signal and source of energy.
Actuators have existed for a long period and are an integral part of our daily life, incorporated within a huge range of devices to improve performance and functionality.
Most traditional actuators use electromagnetic technology first developed over two centuries ago, comprised of strong permanent magnets and long lengths of electrical windings. By virtue of the size of these parts, electromagnetic actuators are large, heavy and require the addition of further complex systems to allow them to move correctly.
In a world being advanced daily by the application and innovations in electronics and software, new products with next generation functionality and miniature form factors arrive constantly. Actuators can be used to augment and complement this technology to further enhance performance. However, the size, weight and complexity of traditional actuators has limited the products and applications where actuators and electronics can be elegantly combined.
The key component of CML's actuators is made from SMA (shape memory alloy) material in the form of a wire. CML leverage the characteristic expansion and contraction of this SMA material to create motion, controlled by driver ICs and software algorithms which alter wire length to achieve sub-micron accuracy. CML design actuators from precision miniature components often produced from thin sheets of materials, which are joined together resulting in compact, slimline, lightweight products.
CML has created a technology that is highly compatible with an electronics-dominated world, not just supplanting current actuator technology but creating entirely new applications.
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