Updated: Jul 12, 2022
In the past 80 years of technological innovations, artificial muscles have evolved tremendously to transform medical and industrial uses worldwide. By looking at the delicate but powerful control that human muscles have, engineers and scientists have been able to mimic the same responses in artificial muscles in fields like industrial automation, automotive, medical devices, and aerospace.
What Are Artificial Muscles?
Artificial muscles, also known as muscle-like actuators, are devices or materials that can mimic natural muscle and change stiffness, contract, expand, or rotate with an external stimulus. The idea is to mimic human muscles as closely as possible, including producing motions like bending or contracting.
Artificial muscles are highly flexible and have wide applications in medicine, robotics, industry, and many other fields. In the same way, our muscles convert different chemicals into energy to operate; artificial muscles use electricity to facilitate mechanical motion.
What Can Artificial Muscles Be Used For?
Artificial muscles, such as those made by Artimus Robotics, can replace most electric motor actuators to reduce weight and noise while also allowing for precise control. One key example is the use of artificial muscles to create robot arm designs used in service robots. However, they can also be used in:
Pumps and valves
Compared to electric motors, artificial muscles are lighter, more robust, cheaper, and more efficient. The soft actuators themselves are also quiet and non-toxic, which makes them ideal for medical use.
Many believe that with the introduction of more flexible materials to create artificial muscles, we’re likely to see more of them used in consumer applications, like smart speakers, and in human-like robotics.
Of course, the most exciting use of artificial muscles is within prosthetics. Scientists have managed to create artificial muscle prosthetics that expand and contract like the real thing by mimicking biological muscle. As these artificial muscles continue to advance and improve, many hope to become part of organ transplants. For example, if artificial muscles can be designed to mimic heart valves, they could be used in heart surgery to fix a damaged organ versus waiting for the right organ transplant. That’s one of the most influential applications for artificial muscles and has engineers and scientists excited.
About Artimus Robotics
Artimus Robotics designs and manufactures soft electric actuators. The technology was inspired by nature (muscles) and spun out of the University of Colorado. HASEL (Hydraulically Amplified Self-healing ELectrostatic) actuator technology operates when electrostatic forces are applied to a flexible polymer pouch and dielectric liquid to drive shape change in a soft structure. These principles can be applied to achieve a contracting motion, expanding motion, or other complex deformations. For more information, please visit Artimus Robotics or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.