Elumotion specialises in developing commercial robotic devices to emulate biological motion. Our designs draw on the elegance and effectiveness of naturally evolved solutions and use the latest technological advances to create cutting edge robots. Motivated by this work, we have developed and patented a radical lightweight electric actuation technology – designed from scratch to achieve the efficient, quiet, precise, and forceful performance of muscle tissue.

Elumotion Ltd was founded in 2002 by Dr Graham Whiteley and Craig Fletcher. Their portfolio includes the initial design and development of a market leading prosthetic hand currently sold by OSSUR; a range of human-scale robotic torsos and a state-of-the-art robotic hand, currently sold by SCHUNK. The torso uses 18 actuators plus an additional 9 in each hand, providing the range and dexterity required for convincing movement
– and exemplifies our recurring challenge – to find compact, lightweight actuators able to sustain the high levels of performance needed for human-compatible movement.

In our search for actuators that are robust and reliable in long term operational use we have pushed commercially available actuation to its’ limits, without finding a solution. This led us to the wider opportunity: automation and pervasiveness of modern technology requires more sustainable, lightweight and capable actuators. For example,
energy efficiency requirements are driving electrification in transport; logistics and manufacturing are becoming fully automated within lowpowered smart facilities; and the distinction between therapeutic robotics and prosthetics is becoming increasingly blurred. Moreover, existing mature, power-hungry actuation technologies are not able to meet these new challenges, due to fundamental design limitations. In comparison, other key enabling technologies are developing rapidly. Advances in other underpinning robotics technologies, such as improved energy storage, stronger/ lighter materials, new manufacturing technologies, smarter electronics, and increasingly sophisticated control have all contributed to our cutting-edge robotics products.

To address this challenge, we have designed and built a radical new actuator with tight integration between electric motor and a frictionless transmission fully capable of providing the ultra-efficient, cleaner, quieter and smarter motion-control needed by humanoid, mobile and off-grid devices. Our novel actuation is attracting interest from market leading OEMs as an enabling technology with capability, cost-saving, and sustainability advantages over state-of-the-art. WaveDrives’ actuators have already been chosen to solve motion-control challenges in prosthetics, robotics and transport electrification, with many further potential applications, including suspension/damping, energy recovery, manufacturing/gripping and telehaptic transmission.

In 2015, Graham and Craig were joined by Jill Burnett and founded Wavedrives to commercialise this actuation technology – which offers lower cost, lower carbon and greater flexibility of motion control to solve today’s diverse and demanding actuation challenges. It overcomes the limitations of traditional mechanically geared actuators to deliver truly biocompatible motion and will enable new and updated actuated mechanical devices that are more commercially viable and more sustainable.

Wavedrives is currently participating in the ISCF Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge and is supported by NATEP, an initiative of the UK’s Air Technology Institute and Innovate UK.

Elumotion Ltd

01225 466633/ 07989585251
10 Stable Yard Windsor Bridge Road
Bath, BA2 3AY

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