Jelly-Like Muscles Give Robots More Flexibility

Scientists have been trying for decades to make robots seem more and lifelike, and they've come a long way with everything from making a lifelike brain based on organic matter to making synthetic skin that can help robots feel to synthetic skin that looks and feels just like human skin. But even with all these new advances no robot has the same muscle movements of a human...until now.

A new jelly-like material may allow robots to look more lifelike. Previously, robots without muscles only moved parts of their bodies when a mechanical joint moved. Now, thanks to a artificial muscles develped at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute's Biomimetics Lab when a robot moves a joint any skin further down the mechanical limb may also move giving the robot the same looks and motions as a living creature.

Think about it: close your eye, does the skin around your eye wrinkle when you do that? In the past if a robot closed its eye the only skin that moved was what was directly touching the mechanical joint closing the eye. With this new jelly-like material robots may finally have the ability to wink and that only means one thing--interhumanoid robotic dating! And I'm certainly not talking about this!

Ahem.

According to NewScientist, The artificial robotic robotic muscles are built of electroactive structures that consist of two layes of conducting carbon grease separated by an extremely stretchy insulating polymer film. The muscles are elastic enough that they can stretch to more than 300 percent of their original size. The electromechanical properties of the muscles allow them to expand and contract.

Not only may future robots look and feel more fleshy like us weak humans, but they may not need any mechanical parts either. The robots may be able to mimick living creatures and support themselves with only their electromechanical muscles. With AI advancing the way it is man may 'create' a new species sooner than you think; that time is just around the corner.

[Aukland Bioengineering Institute and NewScientist via Popular Science]

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