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Actuation and Power Generation
Generating clean energy at a competitive cost is a critical challenge. A product of SRI's energy and green tech research, SRI's patented electroactive polymer "artificial muscle" technology can be used for a variety of actuator and power generation applications.
Mechanical forces applied to the rubbery electroactive polymers generate electricity. A novel application of this technology is using the motion of ocean waves to create clean electricity. Activated by the movement of the waves, electroactive polymers built into buoys generate clean electricity that can be harnessed.
In 2004, SRI spun out its electroactive polymer technology to Artificial Muscle, Inc. (acquired by Bayer MaterialScience in 2010). SRI continues to develop this technology for many applications and markets.
A novel, ultra-compact variable transmission promises to dramatically increase efficiency for robotics systems and allow for safer human-robot interaction.
SRI is developing a system to manage a person's heating and cooling individually, saving energy by not overheating or overcooling areas within a building where the person is not present.
SRI is co-developing a system for cooling water discharge ponds at thermoelectric power plants.
To meet an important military challenge, SRI is designing a sensor system that can disappear on command.