FIRGELLI Micro Actuators. (Photo: PRNewswire/Firgelli Automations)

FIRGELLI’s new actuator is only 16mm in diameter

 February 14, 2022

FERNDALE, Wash.—A new micro actuator developed by FIRGELLI Automations is described by the company as the “world’s smallest actuator,” measuring only 16mm in diameter.

The company recently released its new Micro Pen Actuator, designed to support applications ranging from automotive automation to consumer electronics. The compact actuator opens doors for further advancements in a number of technology niches, including robotics, FIRGELLI said in a release.

Actuators deliver the precise movements necessary in robots and other automation. Especially complex robots may have dozens (or more) actuators, depending on how many movements are required within the overall structure. A more compact actuator provides opportunities within technical and engineering fields to do more with less space, potentially reducing the footprint of automation machines, the company said.

The tiny design is achieved in part through an inline style, which allows a diameter of 16mm at the largest point of the actuator, even with the optional feedback. The compact nature of the part ensures it can fit into especially small spaces, supporting the creation of hidden motion control capabilities that might be desirable in robotics, home and auto automation, innovative consumer electronic products, and even toys, FIRGELLI said in the release.

The company said it believes the actuator can be a player in applications that include the new Tesla Bot.

“The high power-to-size ratio is an important selling point for the Micro Pen Actuator,” said FIRGELLI Founder and CEO Robbie Dickson, in the release. “It helps support the development of big ideas in increasingly smaller packages.”

The Micro Pen Actuator is said to provide versatility that might belie its stature. Force options include 20N (equivalent to 4.5 pounds) and 100N (equivalent to 22 pounds). Stroke lengths include 20mm, 40 mm, 60mm, 80mm, and 100mm and standard, with custom strokes available. Companies and individuals who want to order the small actuator can customize orders to get the force and stroke lengths required for their applications, according to FIRGELLI.

Each actuator also includes overload protection to help minimize damage if a system or environment drives too much force, the company said.

 The Micro Pen Actuator follows a 2-wire configuration for simple control options. According to FIRGELLI, many users opt for a Rocker-Switch to perform a polarity reverse when supplying 12v DC power to the actuator. The firm also recommends use of a two-button remote control for this operation.

FIRGELLI noted that the actuators are designed with two clevis holes for mounting. The 3mm holes support use of 2-3mm screws, and the actuator body can also be mounted. One benefit FIRGELLI highlighted with regard to the mounting options is that the actuator body and motor end do not have to align for mounting. It also noted that mounting options allow for swiveling and movement of the actuator body, a requirement in many applications.

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