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R3plica

Building A Future Of Lifelike Robots

Robotics, Artificial Muscle4 min read

Timothy Morrissey

Meet Timothy Morrissey

Co-founder, CEO @ Artimus Robotics

Colorado, United States 

Tim is a multidisciplinary engineer currently expanding his capabilities into yet another discipline, serving as CEO for Artimus Robotics Inc.

He received a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 2011 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2016 and 2019 respectively. Tim has over 10 years of technical research experience including positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as well as CoorsTek in Colorado.

He has taught all around the world including the Chamonix Valley and Thailand and has held leadership positions throughout his professional career including Lead TA for the mechanical engineering department at CU and the Lab Manager for the Keplinger Research Group.


Could you briefly describe the story and vision of Artimus Robotics?

Artimus Robotics’ vision for the future is the widespread use of robots in everyday life.

We envision robots having a substantial and meaningful impact on every person’s life through the realization of next-generation technologies in areas such as labor augmentation, risk reduction, and the ever-futuristic application, humanoid robots.

At Artimus, we believe there have been a plethora of critical advancements in many necessary technologies required to realize this vision, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and connectivity; however, we believe one major challenge still exists - motion.

Artimus Robotics was born from the desire to radically alter the way in which robots and automation move.

Born out of academic research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Artimus is commercializing a leading artificial muscle technology in applications such as industrial automation, human-machine interfaces, defense, and other futuristic applications.

Artimus was originally founded in 2018 after a pair of academic papers released this new artificial muscle technology receiving widespread press coverage in National Geographic and Wired, leading to heavy inbound commercial interest.

The core inventors of artificial muscle technology came together to spin up Artimus and transition the technology from the lab to real-world applications.

You can learn more about Artimus Robotics’ origin story here.

Artificial muscles are very much a materials science approach to solving motion challenges rather than a brute force approach with radical controls or processing.

In the past, there have been a handful of academic technologies that have attempted to realize artificial muscles. Artimus Robotics is commercializing one such technology, termed HASEL actuation technology.

HASEL, or, hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) actuators, are a commercialized soft robotic motion technology, featuring muscle-like performance.

HASEL actuation technology spun out of the Keplinger Research Group at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Artimus Robotics was founded in 2018 by the core inventors of the HASEL actuation technology, who sought to develop a commercialized product by building off their Ph.D. dissertation work in mechanical engineering and materials science.

You can learn more about how HASEL artificial muscles work on our website at ArtimusRobotics.com

What are HASEL actuator development kits and their purpose?

Artimus Robotics released the HASEL actuator Development Kit to enable engineers, designers, or anyone with a vision for the future of robotics, to get hands-on experience with HASEL actuation technology.

Artimus relies deeply on our customers and partners around the globe to apply HASEL actuation technology to their motion challenges.

To empower these stakeholders as quickly as possible, Artimus Robotics has not been afraid to ship products early and quickly to allow our customers to test HASEL actuation technology in their use case as soon as possible.

Rather than go heads-down and fully productize HASEL actuation technology before allowing others to use HASEL actuation technology, Artimus is instead shipping engineering units with the understanding that all the reliability, robustness, and required connectivities is still in the works.

Artimus has some of the most impressive and innovative customers that work with us to shape the direction of HASEL actuation technology.

Our Development Kits allow us to have meaningful dialogues with our current customers who are actually using the HASEL actuation technology, rather than theorizing how HASEL actuation technology might be used someday.

While Artimus continues to focus on productizing HASEL actuation technology, we are excited that the Development Kit has allowed us to engage with our customers as early as we have.

If you are interested in learning more about the Development Kits or receiving a quote for your own, please visit us at artimusrobotics.com/products or email us.

Explain the benefits of using HASEL actuation technology in robotics and automation?

HASEL actuation technology brings a variety of benefits to robotics and automation that is very dependent on the use case in which the technology is implemented.

Some of the key features of HASEL actuation technology is its:

  • Physical compliance - HASEL actuators are soft and can conform to objects easily.

  • Electric control - HASEL actuators are portable, controllable, and easy to implement.

  • Analog control - the physical output is directly proportional to driving input, meaning HASEL action technology can provide variable displacement or force.

  • Silent - HASEL actuators are very quiet during operation as they do not have any spinning motors or pneumatic exhaust.

  • Lightweight - we use no metals or magnets, but rather plastics and liquids, making HASEL actuators innately lightweight.

  • High speed - HASEL actuators have turn-on times as low as milliseconds and can operate at frequencies as high as 100Hz.

  • Large stoke - because of the diversity of the form factors HASEL actuators can make, some HASEL actuators such as the linearly expanding HASEL actuators can realize over 100% strain.

  • Diversity of capabilities - HASEL actuators are incredibly diverse and modular, making it easy to adapt to an individual customer’s unique motion challenge.

We have found that our customers often have a unique motion challenge that will require a select few of our key features of HASEL actuation technology that addresses the needs of their application.

Explain one case where Artimus Robotics Technology is implemented?

One use case that Artimus Robotics’ HASEL actuation technology is being implemented in is industrial robotics and agricultural automation.

Specifically in applications where there is high variability in objects, where those objects are soft or delicate - think fruits or other soft foods.

Traditional robotics are neither dexterous enough to handle these objects nor adaptable enough to handle the variability these objects present.

A soft or compliant end effector (gripper) made with HASEL actuation technology is able to provide the necessary delicate touch thanks to its analog control and handle the wide variability thanks to its physical compliance.

Soft end effectors is a rapidly growing sector of both Artimus Robotics and the robotics industry as a whole, as there are countless areas where human hand-labor is still a necessary task and technologies have yet to present the required dexterity to automate it.

As these jobs are often dull, dangerous, and repetitive, it is gratifying that Artimus can help protect the laborer from these tasks and empower them to do more meaningful work.

If you are interested in learning more about how Artimus Robotics is enabling the future of soft robotics and automation, check out our website, stay connected with us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as receive news on future innovations with our mailing list.