Piezoelectric and electrostrictive actuators for electromechanical work have applications that fall into the broad categories of positioners, motors, and vibration suppressors. These ceramic actuators have displacements of up to several tens of microns, which can be controlled with a precision of +/- 10 microns, as well as response speeds of the order of 10 microsec and generative forces as large as 400 kgf/sq cm. Their driving power is typically an order of magnitude smaller than that of electromagnetic motors. Attention is given to the multilayer and bimorph types of ceramic actuators that are currently the most often used in applications of this technology. 28 refs.