Air Muscles

Shadow Air Muscles

The Air Muscle is an extraordinary actuator that is small, light, simple and ‘friendly’. It is soft, has no stiction, is easily controllable and exceptionally powerful. It is a linear actuator, producing motion along a straight line and opening a whole new range of design possibilities.

Air Muscles are used to actuate our compliant pneumatic E Series Hand and in bespoke projects. If your project requires elegant compliant actuation or you would like to order Air Muscles please email or fill out this contact form.

Key Features


Air Muscles weigh as little as 10 grammes – particularly useful for weight-critical applications or locations.

Lower Cost

Air Muscles can be significantly cheaper than other actuators of similar power.

Smooth Action

Air Muscles have little ‘stiction’ and have an immediate response. This results in smooth and natural movement and potential for high frequency cycling.


Air Muscles can be operated when twisted axially, bent round a corner, and need no precise aligning, making construction relatively easy and reducing cost.


Air Muscles have excellent power to weight ratio, capable of lifting many times their weight.


Air Muscles are “soft” actuators with inherent compliance. This makes it easier to design safer mechanism and actuators.

Properties & Usage

Shadow Air Muscles behave in a different manner to the pneumatic cylinder or other linear actuators. As the Air Muscle contracts under constant pressure, pulling force produced between the endpoints decreases. The maximum possible force at a given pressure is obtained when the Air Muscle is stretched out to maximum length.

Please refer to the Air Muscle Datasheet for additional details on physical properties and correct usage.

Download the 30mm Air Muscle Datasheet
Air Muscles are not designed, intended, authorised or warranted for use in life support applications, devices or any other critical application.