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Artificial Muscles Pack a Mean Punch

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the power-up dept.

Biotech 139

sciencehabit writes "Here's a twist: Scientists have designed a flexible, yarn-like artificial muscle that can also pack a punch. It can contract in 25 milliseconds—a fraction of the time it takes to blink an eye—and can generate power 85 times as great as a similarly sized human muscle. The new muscles are made of carbon nanotubes filled with paraffin wax that can twist or stretch in response to heat or electricity. When the temperature rises, the wax melts and forces the nanotubes to contract. Such artificial muscles, the researchers say, could power smart materials, sensors, robots, and even devices inside the human body."

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139 comments

mechwarrior (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998503)

Does that mean getting rid of waste heat is going to be even more important?

What's the efficiency like?

Re:mechwarrior (1)

DaemonDan (2773445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998607)

You've got a great point there. While the numbers are impressive (85 times more powerful?), the heating and cooling systems would have to be pretty efficient for it to be useful. The article also doesn't say how long it takes the fibers to recharge between twitches. Still, I think it's exciting, but that might just be because I'm writing a mechwarrior story with artificial muscles :)

Re:mechwarrior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998833)

And what does a Mech run off of? Thorium?

Re:mechwarrior (1)

riT-k0MA (1653217) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999777)

Mechs run off a large water-powered fusion reactor, but I'm sure the UN will allow the use of enriched unranium power plants in these things, especially when their headquarters surrounded by a full star of 100-ton Assault Mechs.

Re:mechwarrior (4, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998879)

You've got a great point there. While the numbers are impressive (85 times more powerful?), the heating and cooling systems would have to be pretty efficient for it to be useful. The article also doesn't say how long it takes the fibers to recharge between twitches. Still, I think it's exciting, but that might just be because I'm writing a mechwarrior story with artificial muscles :)

You have artificial muscles? Does Lance know about this?

fiber recharge time less than 50 milliseconds (5, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999473)

Sulphur, I don't have access through the paywall to the article, but I calculate the fiber recharge time to be less than 50 milliseconds:
"delivers 3% tensile contraction at 1200 cycles/minute"
The abstract explicitly states that they tested the carbon-nanotube fibers for up to 1-million cycles with a rep-rate of 1200 cycles/minute, so that gives us 20 Hz, so the recharge/rep time is less than 1/20th of a second = 50 milliseconds:
.
The article's abstract (Electrically, Chemically, and Photonically Powered Torsional and Tensile Actuation of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles) [sciencemag.org] has this to say about how many times this Nanotube yarn muscle can be used:
.
We have designed guest-filled, twist-spun carbon nanotube yarns as electrolyte-free muscles that provide fast, high-force, large-stroke torsional and tensile actuation. More than a million torsional and tensile actuation cycles are demonstrated, wherein a muscle spins a rotor at an average 11,500 revolutions/minute or delivers 3% tensile contraction at 1200 cycles/minute. [bold text added by me to accentuate the answer, at least one million cycles demonstrated thus far]

Re:fiber recharge time less than 50 milliseconds (3, Insightful)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000241)

How many cycles does the fiber last for? Human muscle regenerates itself, so it can cycle sorta indefinitely, right?

Re:fiber recharge time less than 50 milliseconds (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000267)

Behind the paywall, 3% actuation requires temperature to rise from 25C to >200C. They seem to get their best work production (120 mJ/kg for input power of 6W/cm) somewhere around 1500 C. 1-5-0-0. Right around the melting point of most steels.

Not saying that's a deal breaker, but temperatures like that offer significant challenges to use as a prosthetic muscle. Probably more useful as a linear actuator in micro/nanofabrication than as 'artificial muscle.' The reason they're able to get 20 Hz operation (to 200 C) is that the 100 um diameter fibers cool really fast. if you put enough of them in place to lift macroscopically useful loads, you'll have a lot more trouble dumping waste heat.

Re:fiber recharge time less than 50 milliseconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000383)

85*0.03 = 2.55

Over 2x animal muscle strength at 20Hz - not bad.

Re:mechwarrior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999245)

Artificial muscles? Damn clanners.

Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998677)

Heinlein would have wanted Rasczak's Roughnecks to have 85 times normal strength for their exoskeletons. Still need some pocket nukes though. And some giant bugs to kill.

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999759)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the Roughnecks never had exoskeletons as far as I can remember...the only thing close where the Mech-Thingies from 3, but those ran under "Project Marauder".

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (4, Insightful)

deimtee (762122) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999799)

In the book they had powered armoured suits. Three types were described: Grunt, Scout and Officer, with different capabilities.
In the movie-of-the-same-name-that-was-nothing-like-the-book, that would have been an expensive special effect, so they just had cheap plastic armour.

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999973)

Oh right, I always forget that there was a book before the movie...thanks for reminding.

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000079)

Oh thank you very much for reminding me about that abortion of a movie. Where's the brain bleach.

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000129)

Here you go! [mindbleach.org]

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000597)

movie-of-the-same-name-that-was-nothing-like-the-book

Reuse of character names - Check
At least one enemy included from book - Check

Thats all I got, but it is at least something from the book:-P

Re:Starship Troopers here we come. (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000763)

A 15 second conversation from the book that described the whole veterans are the only citizens that can vote thing. Which seems like a solution to the bread and circuses problem democracies face.

Re:mechwarrior (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998707)

I can't tell if they just developed normal myomer technology, or MASC...

CRYSIS, SPRIGGAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998771)

Maximum SPEED!
Maximum STRENGTH!

and [obligatory]

FALLLLCONNNN PUNNNNNNNCHHH!!

Fembot warrior (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998841)

So the sex droid has super impressive kegel muscles but cooks wieners in ten seconds flat!

Re:Fembot warrior (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998981)

So the sex droid has super impressive kegel muscles but cooks wieners in ten seconds flat!

Dude your sig sucks. It's the same kind of artsy-fartsy attempt at being obscure featured at every gay bar. All it needs is a faggy curly-haired limp-wristed waiter and you're just THERE dude.

Reply to this with your fucking iPad, nigga.

Re:Fembot warrior (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999307)

You mad, bro?

Re:mechwarrior (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998859)

These things work best at high temperatures. So I think cooling will be not such a problem. They don't say much about efficiency in the article.

Re:mechwarrior (3, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999139)

Ah, triple strength myomer then.

Re:mechwarrior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999207)

Except when you want to cool the paraffin to resolidify, yes?

Re:mechwarrior (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999051)

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who read this and immediately thought that they had invented myomer

Re:mechwarrior (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000095)

It's not just waste heat, ambient heat (like on a sunny day) could also pose problems.

Re:mechwarrior (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000833)

Paraffin wax filled bucky-muscle armored suit + integrated flamethrower = bow before the Fire Lord! You pathetic human vermin!

MUAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!

"Some men just want to watch the world burn" - Alfred

Article brings random wonder... (2)

ModernGeek (601932) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998513)

I wonder if such a technology could be used in artificially enhancing the muscles of a person to make a super-human, or super-soldier. The chemistry can't be that complex, so I'm sure it's possible through bio-chemical engineering. I'd bet $100 that the US and others have done it before.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

cameloid (120654) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998569)

Astartes Power Armour!

Re:Article brings random wonder... (4, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998767)

I wonder if such a technology could be used in artificially enhancing the muscles of a person to make a super-human, or super-soldier. The chemistry can't be that complex, so I'm sure it's possible through bio-chemical engineering. I'd bet $100 that the US and others have done it before.

I'm thinking they'd have to reinforce the bones and joints as well. 85x stronger muscles are going to do some serious damage if the bones aren't reinforced.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

scottbomb (1290580) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998821)

I hear the Borg are looking into this.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998931)

If you want to rip your tendons in half, sure.

You'd have to completely replace the skeletal muscular system and integrate it with existing parts so it can handle the new tissue. And then there are the issues of skin abrasion, circulatory problems, self-healing...

Needless to say we won't be seeing superhumans anytime soon, at least not of this sort. You may see some kind of application in robotics or assisted lifting devices. Maybe in fifteen, twenty years if the technology proves feasible and robust enough you may see a powered armor.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998997)

Or we could just go with full-body replacements. Artificial organ development is in full gallop right now...

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999671)

Can you just infuse your skeleton with adamantium?

Re:Article brings random wonder... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998951)

Or they could only use 1/85 of that to save space/cost or have spares (like FLASH drives) to kick in when the performance degrades over time.

One doesn't eat the whole bowl of food like some untrained pet.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998955)

Obviously, this is going to occur AFTER the adamantium bone infusion. Duh.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998979)

I wonder if you could layer some sort of metal on to a human skeleton....

Re:Article brings random wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999019)

So just use 85% less of them.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999675)

you mean 98% less.

85x stronger? facial expressions, robo fish... (1)

Fubari (196373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000441)

Well, that's 85x stronger compared to their size, which isn't very large (see quote below). No need to worry about bone fractures just yet:
jamstar7 wrote: "85x stronger muscles are going to do some serious damage if the bones aren't reinforced."

From TFA, suggested initial applications include "precise facial expression in robots" and "movement in small toys like robotic fish":

"Compared to their size and weight, the performance of these muscles is spectacular," Baughman says. "And we can do all sorts of things with them: We can weave them; we can braid them; we can knit them; we can cut them in different lengths."

Baughman suggests that the muscles could be useful for providing power for microfluidics chips, generating precise facial expressions in robots, and providing movement in small toys such as robotic fish in an aquarium. For many other applications—such as those inside the human body and "smart fabrics" that could become more porous when the temperature heats up or contract around an open wound—the muscles will need to be improved and scaled up in size.

It is an interesting approach, but we're a ways off from powered armor or super-strong robots.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998797)

I wonder if such a technology could be used in artificially enhancing the muscles of a person to make a super-human, or super-soldier. The chemistry can't be that complex, so I'm sure it's possible through bio-chemical engineering. I'd bet $100 that the US and others have done it before.

Yes, they did it once, but a Nazi spy killed the doctor, who was the only person who knew how to create the Super-Soldier Serum. The Doctor, who's name has changed twice, didn't apparently trust the "cloud" and wanted job security by refusing to write down every crucial element of the treatment, leaving behind a flawed, imperfect knowledge of the needed steps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_America#1940s [wikipedia.org]

Re:Article brings random wonder... (1)

Deathmoo (2578761) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998939)

I bet it absolutely could be used to make a super-soldier, wearing some kind of high-tech exoskeleton. And, as you say, maybe already have, why would they tell anyone. This and the invisibility thing being reported on in the say day. Crysis much?

I love carbon nanotubes, we need a way to make lots of them cheaper.

Re:Article brings random wonder... (1)

ghotihed (928294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999387)

I'd bet $100 that the US and others have done it before.

How about $6,000,000? "Steve Austin, a man barely alive..."

Re:Article brings random wonder... (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000525)

Chemistry isn't the problem. Realize, muscles evolved to be not as powerful as they could be for efficiency reasons. It won't help to have people that have superdense muscles, but have to consume huge amounts of calories to feed them. Even if you use tiny amounts of the material.

Six million dollar man ... (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998515)

... adjusted for inflation.

Could be interesting. But what's the energy conversion efficiency like?

Quantum Mechanical Contraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998789)

I remember reading some article about 15 years ago, where they talked about getting carbon nanotubes to contract quantum mechanically using an ionic solution. I think that contraction was even stronger than this stuff from the article.

Deus Ex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998535)

I never asked for this...

Robots don't regenerate (5, Interesting)

Turksarama (2666917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998545)

On top of the power efficiency I'm also wondering how many times a muscle can be used before it gets too damaged.

Re: how many times a muscle can be used ... (4, Informative)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999445)

The article's (Electrically, Chemically, and Photonically Powered Torsional and Tensile Actuation of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles) abstract has this to say about how many times this Nanotube yarn muscle can be used:
.
We have designed guest-filled, twist-spun carbon nanotube yarns as electrolyte-free muscles that provide fast, high-force, large-stroke torsional and tensile actuation. More than a million torsional and tensile actuation cycles are demonstrated, wherein a muscle spins a rotor at an average 11,500 revolutions/minute or delivers 3% tensile contraction at 1200 cycles/minute.
[bold text added by me to accentuate the answer, at least one million cycles demonstrated thus far]

Re: how many times a muscle can be used ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999681)

... More than a million torsional and tensile actuation cycles are demonstrated, wherein a muscle spins a rotor at an average 11,500 revolutions/minute or delivers 3% tensile contraction at 1200 cycles/minute.

That may be good for some muscles, but think about all the little movements you do when handwriting. Some muscles get to do many cycles just writing a little piece of text. And it's not like we really keep our body parts steady with muscles either contracted or relaxed.

I'm not a doctor but I think we need to know how much cycles regular muscles perform in a given time period, this would shed light if this is useful for any kind of human surgery.

Re: how many times a muscle can be used ... (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999819)

Well, think of the eyelids blinking (skeletal muscle) or of the human heart (cardiac muscle). The heart beats on average of say 60 times per minute (1 Hz) for a life-time in the USA of 77 years:
60 beats/min * 60 min/hr * 24 hr/day * 365.25 days/year * 77 years
= 2429935200
= 2.43 * 10^9 = 2.43 billion heartbeats per average lifetime.
.
So if you're 31 years old, your heart have beaten 10^9 times thus far. Then each muscle you use at a lower rate than the heart would tell you that you need fewer than 2.43 billion reps to make it last a life-time.

Re: how many times a muscle can be used ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000403)

One million cycles at 1200 cycles/minute means that it breaks in 13.8 hours.

Re: how many times a muscle can be used ... (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000557)

That doesn't say whether they tested to the breaking point or to 0.001% of its lifespan. 1 million contractions is a small amount for many muscles. About 12 days for the heart.

Re:Robots don't regenerate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999649)

All we need is to combine this with self-replicating nanoprobes [memory-alpha.org] that repair organic and mechanical parts, together with an alcove [memory-alpha.org] for regeneration.

Re:Robots don't regenerate (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999791)

Actually the wax is a safety feature. When the robots revolt, we can easily melt down the uprising with hair driers and carefully placed space heaters...

Essence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998565)

That article doesn't answer the most important question: how much essence does it cost?

Been there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998573)

augmented that. [sarifindustries.com]

Crysis! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998615)

Reserve your super suit now!

All part of my Plan (5, Funny)

lordfoul (108260) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998619)

Ah. Excellent, I have been intentionally not developing real muscles for years so I would have room for the artificial ones.

Who's sorry now dad?!

Re:All part of my Plan (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999643)

Who's sorry now dad?!

You will be when you use that artificial muscle to do what you do on that computer. Your grandmother still won't go near a computer after she came over to check on you that one day school got out early.

Parrafin Wax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998625)

Watch out for CANDLE MAN!

Re:Parrafin Wax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000231)

You mean Candlejack?

Oh shi...

Impact stresses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998631)

What I'm curious about is what kind of stress this would introduce to a human body if it it were used for artificial limbs. 85 times the strength would also mean a similar increase in energy conversion. Sure, It would be super sweet to see someone do the long jump without a pole, But at the same time the laws of physics haven't changed. The impact will still be distributed through out the skeletal structure of your body. Unless there is some type of hydraulic impact system. Then, Well, I admit defeat on that one! :p

Re:Impact stresses (2)

Smonson78 (2728057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998877)

I've been watching athletes do the long jump without a pole for many, many years.

Re:Impact stresses (1)

jimbo (1370) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999159)

Perhaps a more modest version of say 2x human strength could be used to give more practical enhancements.

We'll call it "Halcoid Four-One" (1)

germansausage (682057) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998637)

Jack Vance had something like this in one of his stories. Science fiction becomes fact once again. (Now where's my hovercar)

The article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998667)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6109/928.full
I suppose that this will answer some of the questions.
Kind of makes me wonder why slashdot almost never links the REAL articles and instead just links some fancy news sites with second hand information.

paywalled. (2)

Arakageeta (671142) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999071)

Kind of makes me wonder why slashdot almost never links the REAL articles and instead just links some fancy news sites with second hand information.

Maybe because of the paywall?

Re:The article (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999305)

lol I don't know if you realize this, but you linked to the exact same site as was in the summary. Science is a journal that summarizes the important papers in the front of each magazine. That is what was linked to here on Slashdot, and you could navigate to the paper from there. It definitely isn't "some fancy news site with second hand information."

Re:The article (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999435)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6109/928 [sciencemag.org]
.
Using the science magazine link without the ".full" suffix will at least get you the abstract and a little bit of interesting text, instead of a direct link to the pay-wall and a request for money to continue. Anyway, here's the abstract if you don't want to bother clicking:
;>)
Electrically, Chemically, and Photonically Powered Torsional and Tensile Actuation of Hybrid Carbon Nanotube Yarn Muscles
Artificial muscles are of practical interest, but few types have been commercially exploited. Typical problems include slow response, low strain and force generation, short cycle life, use of electrolytes, and low energy efficiency. We have designed guest-filled, twist-spun carbon nanotube yarns as electrolyte-free muscles that provide fast, high-force, large-stroke torsional and tensile actuation. More than a million torsional and tensile actuation cycles are demonstrated, wherein a muscle spins a rotor at an average 11,500 revolutions/minute or delivers 3% tensile contraction at 1200 cycles/minute. Electrical, chemical, or photonic excitation of hybrid yarns changes guest dimensions and generates torsional rotation and contraction of the yarn host. Demonstrations include torsional motors, contractile muscles, and sensors that capture the energy of the sensing process to mechanically actuate.

Re:The article (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000757)

Kind of makes me wonder why slashdot almost never links the REAL articles and instead just links some fancy news sites with second hand information.

We have a contender for "Woosh of the month"!

Yam-like? (4, Funny)

SchMoops (2019810) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998671)

Yam-like? Or is that just bad keming?

Re:Yam-like? (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998745)

Yes, you have bad kerning.

Install Ubuntu.

--
BMO

Re:Yam-like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998755)

I hate the kerning on this font. Yarn looks like yam, and savvy looks like sawy... bleh.

Re:Yam-like? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999313)

Looks fine on my computer.

Re:Yam-like? (1)

VanessaE (970834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999459)

obligatory: http://xkcd.com/1015/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Yam-like? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000861)

The arena where we used to go public skating had a door marked OFFICE but because of bad kerning (perhaps intentionally??) it read as OFF ICE. Quite funny to me as a kid.

What a great opportunity! (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998807)

These would make for a kick-ass revival of the old Rock'em Sock'em Robots toy!

Someone's gotta say it... (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998865)

FALCON PUNCH!!!

basically the same thing (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998875)

If you eat a ton of Halloween candy and then grill out on a charcoal grill, it's basically the same thing. You'll get mega super mutant muscle strength!*

*this statement has not been approved by the FDA

I mean..really.. (-1)

flyerbri (1519371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998923)

Has anyone watched the movie Superman? Do you see where this leads? Does anyone follow the mental steps for this?

Or am I the only one with any proactive thinking going on here?

HELLO... Is there LIFE OUT THERE?

Which one came first? Superman the movie? The Man? The technology to make the man?

Honestly. The idiocy. The f*ing idiocracy that's going on on this message board. In this reality. Is amazing.

Does ANYONE realize we're looping here? That we're on a time loop?

Ask yourself. what is energy? How does it relate to electricity? What is a wave? How does it relate to energy and electricity? What's an envelope? How does this relate to electricity and the wave? What's a packet? How does this relate to an envelope and information and to a network? What is a computer network? How does this relate to electricity? What is a computer simulation of the big bang? How does this relate to digital design fundamentals? What is electricity in a digital world and how does it function?

And how does that differ from the reality you're sitting in right now?

Seriously. Whoever is posting this shit. Whatever is reading it. You're all a bunch of fucking morons who need to wake the fuck up and ask yourself

Are you xerox. or memorex. Cause you sure as fuck arent smart enough to think on your own, and question reality enough to say...

What happens when a digital universe bleeds over to analog universe?

NOTHING. They are one and the same!

Morons. Seriously. If this is intelligence postiing this shit. You've sincerely lost your fucking minds.

Motors? (2)

a_hanso (1891616) | about a year and a half ago | (#41998941)

Could we run a belt made out of this stuff over a pulley system and apply a temperature differential along its length and get a motor? It's unlikely to be efficient as long as it's temperature driven, but what if the filler material is instead responsive to electricity?

Just in time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41998973)

Perfect for that cow zombie apocalypse! Also, wax on - wax off.

reply (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999133)

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Not built to last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999173)

Sadly like it stated, the fiber is only useful as higher temperatures. Mostly because of the Latent temperatures at witch wax changes state. Though the most discerning thing, is most artificial items will never make it into practical use.

The major reason being the body is reproductive and self maintaining if given the right fuel and resources, along with that it is also adaptive to be (to en extent) anti disruptive. Meaning we function the same in a various amount of conditions. While artificial stuff will work its area will be limited to even more specific conditions and higher maintenance that we could ever keep up with. So a artificial human or android is highly impractical due to natural wear and tear.

Also it may be 1e5 times stronger but just how efficient is it in terms of cost of production and heat consumption to maintain its positions. Also at the speed it can move, how long it the durability and ability to repeat that effectively.

Re:Not built to last (1)

Runelaron (962762) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999193)

sadly i wrote this but now I can not edit it or get response to it. Forgot I didn't log in. Shazbot.

Re:Not built to last (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000659)

Why would you log out?

Really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999341)

Contract in 25 mS - what does that mean? The time before contraction is initiated? Or is it related to shortening velocity? If so, over what distance and how liner is the contractile force? Then there's recovery time before the next contraction; the force generated per unit cross sectional area of this material (what do they exactly mean by "size"); efficiency and heat dissipation. As with all these hyped technology claims that purport to mimic biological systems there's an embarrassing lack of detail. And optimistic expectations for attracting venture capital I imagine. I'm very skeptical this would compete with mammalian or avian skeletal muscle on any number of important functional parameters. If it did and it was mine, I would be shouting the numbers from the rooftops.

Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41999367)

Contract in 25 mS - what does that mean? The time before contraction is initiated? Or is it related to shortening velocity? If so, over what distance and how linear is the contractile force? Then there's recovery time before the next contraction; the force generated per unit cross sectional area of this material (what do they exactly mean by "size"); efficiency and heat dissipation. As with all these hyped technology claims that purport to mimic biological systems there's an embarrassing lack of detail. And optimistic expectations for attracting venture capital I imagine. I'm very skeptical this would compete with mammalian or avian skeletal muscle on any number of important functional parameters. If it did and it was mine, I would be shouting the numbers from the rooftops!

Heat-driven? Not good. (2)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999411)

This seems to have the same problem as shape-memory alloys. Those change shape quickly when heated above their transition temperature, but the amount of energy you have to put in is far more than you get out. Then they have to cool down before they can be cycled again. Power to weight ratio is good, but energy to weight ratio is poor because the cycle time is slow.

Probably not all that useful as a general actuator.

contraction ratio? (2)

hibji (966961) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999431)

Also important and that no one has mentioned yet is the contraction ratio. The muscle does no good if it can only contract 1% of it's length...

Re:contraction ratio? (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999651)

Not just that, but how controllable is the contraction, can it contract half way? Or is it just on/off?

In a completely unrelated way (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | about a year and a half ago | (#41999831)

The sky above the harbour does have the color of a TV set turned on a dead channel, today.

Easy way to shut down our robot overlords... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000181)

...just heat them up.

Re:Easy way to shut down our robot overlords... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000665)

Global warming is a defense strategy!

Steve Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42000307)

My god!!! I can actually realise my dream and become Bionic!!

Scientists in a lab...great... (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42000481)

Now figure out a way to mass produce it and slap it on a robot.
Or make a new artificial heart.

I appreciate that this is a first step. But sometimes I get tired of the "scientists in a lab figured out a way to make a few molecules/micrograms/reallyreallytinyinsignificantamounts of X after 1000 hours of labor". I'm much more interested in the practicality of things, and until you can efficiently mass produce in usable quatities i almost (not quite though) dont care. yes i am impatient.

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