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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.

Projects

Inception Drive: ultra-compact variable transmission for robotics

A novel, ultra-compact variable transmission promises to dramatically increase efficiency for robotics systems and allow for safer human-robot interaction.

Three SRI researchers working on the wearable thermal management technology

Personal Cooling

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.

Spectrally Tuned All-Polymer Technology for Inducing Cooling (STATIC)

STATIC can harvest over two-thirds of the cold sky cooling power through direct radiative cooling of objects in full sun.

artist's conception of a decomposing electronic component

Silicon/Air Battery for “Vanishing” Electronic Systems

To meet an important military challenge, SRI is designing a sensor system that can disappear on command.