Scientists have been developing artificial muscles for some time now. Usually from electrically responsive polymers or even carbon nanotubes, these “muscles” are able to replicate the characteristics or real muscles: contract, expand or stretch. More recently, a research team from MIT has created a different type of artificial muscle with lower expenses.
Researchers found that some types of nylon fiber could be made to act as artificial muscles by using something different than just electrical impulses. When heated, these nylon fibres expand in diameter and shrink in length, heated by laser, electricity or a chemical reaction. What is truly revolutionary is that these future artificial muscles can complete at least 100.000 bends with a retract speed of 17 cycles per second.
The new material is prone to become effective in things like grippers or biomedical devices and, on a long term, used in human enhancement and muscle/body parts replacement.