Stuart Diller | President and Founder of ESTAT Actuation


Primary Contact: Stuart Diller

Primary Email:

Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

Year founded: 2019

Employees: 1-10


At ESTAT Actuation, we’re making robots safer, more capable, and less expensive. We pioneered a game-changing new hardware component called an electroadhesive clutch in the Mechanical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon. Using this ground-breaking technology, we design a range of hardware products that are 10x lighter, 10x more compact, and 1000x more efficient than the conventional clutch hardware. Our customers in the manufacturing, medical robotics, and military markets are creating designs that incorporate our products to achieve functionality and performance that simply weren’t possible with previous actuator hardware.

ESTAT Rotary Electroadhesive Clutch

Advantage of our Technology For Customers

The electroadhesive clutch is a hardware component that is ten times lighter and uses one thousand times less power than conventional versions like electromagnetic or magnetorheological clutches. We achieve such dramatically better performance because our clutch is voltage-activated rather than current-activated. This eliminates the need for heavy and power-hungry magnetic coils, allowing us to instead rely on paper-thin composite structures that activate using voltage fields and consume barely any electrical energy. We build electroadhesive clutch technology into three hardware products: rotary clutches, linear clutches, and surface/gripping clutches. Our customers translate these products into robotic arms, smart transmissions, motion systems, and wearable robots that have substantially lower weight, power consumption, and heat generation compared to previous designs. Check out our website ( for demo videos and more details on our capabilities!

“High performance electrical materials with long-lasting wear properties are crucial to our products. Developing materials and fundamental insights with academic and industry MDS partners will drive our technology to meet more customers’ needs”

-Stuart Diller 


ESTAT is a highly technical team with expertise in robotics, materials science, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. With advanced degrees from Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State, UC Berkeley, Cornell, and University of Bath, we also have strong R&D and product development capabilities. Our passion is translating fundamental technological advances into real-world quality of life improvements for our customers and society broadly!

ESTAT Actuation Team

Company Progress/Achievements

With hardware sales to multiple industry partners, we are currently to proving our hardware in real-world customer systems and converting preliminary customers into scaled customers. We’ve also received grant funding from the National Science Foundation, and performed multiple SBIR contracts with Department of Defense Agencies. 

Focus Areas:

  • Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Robotics & Drones
  • Mobility/Wearables/Advanced Manufacturing
  • Haptics
  • Aerospace
  • Medical robotics
  • Exoskeletons
  • Logistics
  • Adaptive control
  • Invisible locks

John Watkins is ESTAT’s primary MDS contact

“Everyone who sees our in-person demo devices has that audible ‘wow’ moment when they experience the electroadhesive clutch technology in action”

-John Watkins 

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