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Actuators for the World's Most Extreme Environments

Actuation Lab

Actuators are the components that make machines move. Actuation Lab invented the Callimorph actuator to meet the needs of the industries who operate in the world's most extreme environments. This new family of actuator is designed to be the most resilient, powerful and lightweight technology available.

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Innovation Summary

Hydraulic and pneumatic pistons are used to move machines and mechanisms in every industry, worldwide. However, because their design has remained fundamentally unchanged for centuries, they have a number of fundamental flaws. They contain wear components that must be serviced and nobody has yet found a way of reliably manufacturing them from anything other than metal. So despite their widespread use, pistons are an expensive-to-maintain technology that is heavy and vulnerable in corrosive environments.


Talk some stuff about lightweightness.


Talk some stuff about corrosion resistance.


Talk some stuff about being servicing free.

Dr Simon Bates - CEO

Simon is a Mechanical Engineer from Bristol University. He completed his PhD on creating structural parts from low-cost 3D printing in 2017. Simon also co-founded and runs a successful digital manufacturing consultancy, Clifton Digital Manufacturing.

Dr Michael Dicker - CTO

Michael is an Australian mechanical engineer, with 6 years experience working in plant automation for manufacturing and mining firms. He moved to the UK in 2012 to do a composite materials PhD at the University of Bristol, here he researched novel actuating systems. He currently holds a Leverhulme Trust early career fellowship where he explores the energetics of artificial muscles.

Dr Tom Llewellyn-Jones - Head of Manufacturing

Tom is a Physics graduate, who completed his PhD on the development of novel additive manufacturing technologies in 2018. Tom now holds an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship at the University of Bristol. Tom specialises in the development of bespoke toolpaths for optimal actuator performance.