Flexible PCB Actuator

The thinnest Magnetic Actuator!

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So far in my pcb motor projects the magnet was being actuated by the fix stator. With this flex pcb i have managed to do the opposite, have a fixed magnet that moves the pcb by its alternating magnetic field.

The pcb is dual layer and is 0.13mm thick. Although it has only 70 turns, the thin dielectric will improve the coupling.

RAR Archive - 419.09 kB - 07/31/2018 at 23:53


  • How I made a €2 ACTUATOR

    Carl Bugeja09/22/2020 at 08:13 0 comments

  • New FlexAR Actuator!

    Carl Bugeja09/18/2020 at 14:21 0 comments

    A few days ago, I released a new version of my flexible PCB actuator! You can now purchase it for just €2.00, the open source files are also available on my website -

  • How small can my Flexible PCB Actuator get?

    Carl Bugeja07/22/2020 at 12:34 1 comment

    How small can my Flexible PCB Actuator get? This is the question I tried answering in this video! I first discuss how we can get it smaller and the compromises involved. Then I measured the specifications of each prototype and tested the actuators in different applications.

  • 0.13mm vs 0.3mm thick Flexible PCB Coils

    Carl Bugeja04/07/2019 at 20:14 0 comments

    A PCB can be considered as 'flexible' when its thickness is under 0.3mm. But how can this extra thickness effect the behavior of my flexible PCB Magnetic Actuators? 

    In the bellow test video I compared the electrical parameters of the coils and also the bending capabilities of both 0.13mm and 0.3mm thick PCBs!

  • Tindie!

    Carl Bugeja12/03/2018 at 23:35 1 comment

    My Flexible PCB Actuator is finally available on!

  • New PCB

    Carl Bugeja08/31/2018 at 22:06 0 comments

    Just received the new flexible PCB actuators! I'll be selling some of these on Tindie! I'll just have to find some time to set up my store! So far I have only selected the name Microbots

  • New Single Coil PCB Actuator

    Carl Bugeja08/20/2018 at 22:00 0 comments

    Designed a new single coil Flex PCB Actuator! I'm planning to use this as a tiny flap/fin. It the same number of turns as my previous 12 coil pcb.


    Carl Bugeja08/18/2018 at 14:00 0 comments

    This video shows the different type of soft actuator prototypes I have managed to build with my flexible PCB. These include flaps, fins and a very weak robotic muscle with a magnetic bone structure.

    It also shows a glimpse of a robotic fish prototype that I'm started working on.

  • The Magnetic-Bone Structure Prototype

    Carl Bugeja08/13/2018 at 20:46 0 comments

  • Testing

    Carl Bugeja08/09/2018 at 21:19 1 comment

    Before I can start building robots with this thing, I need to measure its characteristics and test its limitations.

    In this video, I have tested my Flexible PCB actuator and also compared it to my Linear PCB Motor which has the same dimensions but different layer count. The measured data is shown bellow:

      4-Layer Linear PCB Motor 2-Layer Flex PCB Actuator
    Resistance 32Ω 23Ω
    Maximum Temperature @ 5V 51°C 76°C
    Power 0.75W 0.9W

    The flex PCB has half the turns, so its resistance is lower. This means that more current can pass through it, so obviously it gets a little hotter. This means that this flexible pcb actuator can be used with lower voltages. The thin dielectric of this pcb also improves the coupling of the magnetic field.

    I was also able to reach a maximum operating frequency of 65Hz.

View all 14 project logs

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el jonco wrote 08/05/2018 at 06:28 point

With a row of magnets underneath the strip, pull coil 1, push coil 2 and 3, pull coil 4. This will bend your strip like an omega. Release coils 1-3 and you have forwarded your strip by 1 coil, caterpillar way.

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Simon Merrett wrote 07/24/2018 at 21:42 point

Fantastic! How about a swimming motion (like the Festo cuttlefish) by rippling that PCB up and down a "spine" and having fins down the side which follow the motion, transferring it to the fluid?

I also wonder if you can put two PCBs together and mechanically couple them for increased force.

Final thought - how about switching fluid flow with a valve made from this?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Carl Bugeja wrote 07/25/2018 at 01:39 point

Hi! I have already done some experimentation on ferrofluid and pcb coils -

It certainly possible, if i add a ferrite core and find an easy way to make a pocket/valve.

Regarding the fish, have you seen the end of the video? That's exactly what I had in mind 🙂

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