The Korean team’s continuously shorted fuel-cell muscle incorporated a shape-memory wire coated with nanoparticles of platinum catalyst. This type of muscle converted the chemical energy of the fuel into thermal energy, which caused actuation. The fuel-cell muscle’s work capability was 100 times that of skeletal muscle They also created a cantilever-based nanotube fuel-cell muscle, the system converted chemical energy (in the form of hydrogen fuel) to electrical energy, which it could then use for movement, other needs or storage.
The artificial muscles could have applications in robotics, freeing up robots from being tethered to heavy battery packs. They could also find a use in prosthetic limbs, smart sensors, dynamic Braille displays, and smart skins for aerospace vehicles. Ultimately it may even be possible to use artificial muscles in the human body, by replacing the metal catalyst with tethered enzymes that can exploit food-derived fuels.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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