Kataka Actuators Create Mary Poppins Bag Effect

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A Danish company called Kataka have come up with an impressive linear actuator that reminds me of the Mary Poppins bag effect. It takes segments of a metal rod stored in a small box and assembles them rapidly, piece by piece on the fly. The resulting rod (that appears almost magically) is strong enough to jack up a car or operate a mini lift (see videos below).

The device is based on an idea conceived by Danish mechanical engineer, Jens Joerren Soerensen back in the mid 90s called segmented spindle technology. The device is designed to enable linear motion from a much smaller device, packing all the pieces in a small box that runs perpendicular to the spindle.

The device may look a bit flimsy, but it is capable of supporting up to 200kg/440lb on its fully assembled 400mm of rod. Despite this strength, it weighs a mere 3.4kg/7.5lb.

Thinking about possible uses for this innovative technology, it seems almost limitless.
Kataka says there are up to 200 actuators inside a modern car alone and then there’s industry, consumer electronics, furniture, appliances, robotics, aerospace and many more areas where a space-saving actuator might improve operation, efficiency or design.

Kataka via OhGizmo

Comments (4 Responses):

Your article is amazing. It helped me a lot with my research about different kinds of valves and actuators and how this stuff works with other mechanical devices…

again,thanks a lot.


Construction of such projects requires knowledge of engineering and management principles and business procedures, economics, and human behavior.

These actuators look great. Any idea of the purchase cost?

Hi Miatke, it looks as though you’d have to contact Kataka for a quote for your specific application. They don’t seem to be available in a standardized retail form.

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