Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Smart piezoelectric multi-degree-of-freedom actuators/sensors

SPA is a series of smart piezoelectric actuators/sensors which combine high accuracy of movement with compact size. SPA have high resolution, a low time constant, easy compatibility with computer control and the ability to function under a wide range of temperatures. These devices are well suited to the development of smart or intelligent mechanisms, and provide a basis for high precision actuators and sensors for the next generation of robotics.

Piezoelectric actuators are a major new component technology that leading-edge companies in Europe are starting to introduce into products. Ideal for computer applications involving precise control of hardware, they are easily incorporated into digital signal generating and processing systems. A new breed of smart piezoelectric actuators/sensors have been developed, which combine high accuracy of movement with compact size. These devices perform a crucial role in smart or intelligent mechanisms, and although relatively unknown up to now, they are expected to have wide application in precision engineering in the future. Other, subsidiary industrial uses include medicine and space research. The results comprise novel piezoactuator prototypes with multiple degrees-of-freedom, such as multiple-joint mini robot, active bearings, robot eyes and Q-switch modulator for laser. Based on the concept of active kinematic pairs of piezoactive joints, these novel mechanisms will offer future users devices with various advantages, from both the engineering and economic points of view. The ideas evolved here are to be further developed and employed in the design of a new generation of robotics actuators and sensors for possible applications in various industries (automotive, manufacturing, precision engineering etc) as well as medical equipment.


Tel.: +44-1675-467111
Fax: +44-1675-467111