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March 21, 2011 / Martijn

Rubbery muscle motors for robots

IT WOBBLES like a jelly, but could make robots more flexible than ever before. Soft artificial muscles have been used to make a motor with only a few parts, and no gears, bearings or cogs.

The motor signals a new dawn for artificial muscles, says Iain Anderson, head of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute’s Biomimetics Lab in New Zealand, where it was created.

The muscles themselves are electroactive structures consisting of two layers of conducting carbon grease separated by an extremely stretchy insulating polymer film, says Anderson. “It can stretch by more than 300 per cent.”

via Rubbery muscle motors to make robots more lifelike – tech – 17 March 2011 – New Scientist.

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