By Lenny Pierce
For anyone who’s ever been fishing, twisted fishing line probably doesn’t sound like the answer to anything. But at the University of Texas at Dallas, researchers have found that a tightly twisted nylon line can produce an artificial muscle that is 100 times stronger than human muscle fiber. Just when I think I’m getting strong…
Once the fiber has been twisted to the point that it forms a tight coil, heat will cause the coil to contract just like a human muscle fiber. Researchers suspect this could lead to more human-like movements in robots or even aid the development of protective exoskeletons for military personnel. Basically, it could be sooner than you think before our Marines are rolling around in Avatar AMP suits.
Tight nylon coils waiting to flex there stuff. (Science/AAAP)
Ray Baughman, a chemistry professor at UT Dallas and the author of the artificial muscle paper appearing in the latest issue of Science, points out how much easier this process is than the traditionally employed carbon nanotubes. “For our previous artificial muscles, we had to use special nanotubes and spinning techniques that meant people around the world couldn’t do it. Here, young people can …read more