PowerON has developed two soft switches based on dielectric elastomers, allowing for flexible switches that can be directly embedded into soft systems. These switches can be configured and combined to perform control, sensing, and logic operations, and can convert electrical energy into mechanical work. Target applications are predominantly in soft robotics, a huge opportunity as they become more popular in industrial applications.

A spin-out from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (part of the University of Auckland), the company runs two offices in Dresden and Auckland, and is making good progress towards early sales. Matū is invested in the company alongside IP Group and the University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund, and provides governance and operational support.