At the end of 2005, HenkJan van der Pol, then working at Demcon, received the Ir. A. Davidson Award for young precision engineering talent. Around that time, he was leading a design project that befitted his stature as an award-winning precision engineer and in which friction played a key role. It concerned a linear actuator, simple and cheap to produce, that could achieve a high accuracy and sub-micron resolution with the aid of feedback, while having a relatively large stroke. The actuator only exerted a small force, but that was no problem for accurate positioning of optical components, for example, or for use in a terminal for Braille communication (each Braille dot was a pin with such an actuator).