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We Can Now Make Artificial Muscle Out Of Fishing Line That’s 100 Times Stronger Than Actual Muscle

Let's hope all those robotics companies Google owns get their hands on this!


Fishing Line

Though we’ve talked about artificial muscles made of graphene, science has come up with a newer (and cheaper) way to get the same job done. By using fishing line, artificial muscles have been created that operate with one hundred times the strength of a human muscle (so might as well start bowing to your inevitable robot overlords now).

It’s true; material scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas discovered that fishing line and high-tension sewing thread can be twisted into springy, energy-filled coils that are flexible, reusable, and can hold an entire badminton team aloft.

Unlike our usual advice to readers, the Dallas team insists you could try this at home. All you need to do is twist nylon string into a coil (at high tension), and then heat it to lock it into place. The heating causes the coil to compress – like a Chinese finger trap. Here, take a look at how this new super-muscle is made:

By mixing threads and materials, the team discovered that they can create many different types of muscle, controllable by both heat and electricity. What makes these muscles extra-special is their incredible affordability; fishing line, you might have figured, is way less expensive than graphene or carbon nanotube yarn.

Apparently, these new muscles can be used to build facial muscles for humanoid robots or for crafting exoskeletons, so we can all look forward to having our bodies ripped apart by a Terminator’s cheek muscles.

(via Popular Mechanics, image via Asbjørn Floden)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.