The paper presents the design procedure and elaborated software for designing calculation of the shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator. The thermo-mechanical behavior of a linear SMA actuator has been studied. The experimental set-up was especially designed to perform the thermo-mechanical characterization of SMA wires. The stroke (s) - temperature (T) hysteresis characteristics have been determined. The cycle of heating and cooling has been performed under a constant load. The model for the SMA actuator s - T behavior has been proposed and successfully implemented. The selected results and conclusions have been presented. The concept proposal of the linear actuator using the SMA wire has been given.