New Robotic Muscle Is 1,000x Normal Human Strength

New Robotic Muscle Is 1,000x Normal Human Strength

robot muscle

The muscle uses a revolutionary material that fluidly changes its properties.

Scientists at US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a new kind of robotic muscle, that they claim is up to 1,000 times stronger than normal human muscle. The muscle uses vanadium dioxide, a revolutionary material that fluidly changes its shape and structure whenever differing amounts of heat are applied to it.

If this guy was the first thing to pop into your head after reading that last sentence... you're not alone. "Robot muscle 1,000x human strength" sounds like something straight out of a Terminator movie, but this is a very real thing that could have a far-reaching impact on the field of robotics.

When made into a robotic muscle, scientists believe that the new material will be able to hurl objects 50 times it weight and five times its length in as little as 60 milliseconds. Junqiao Wu, Team Leader on the project, describes it as a "micro-bimorph dual coil that functions as a powerful torsional muscle, driven thermally or electro-thermally by the phase transition of vanadium dioxide."

"Miniaturizing rotary motors is important for integrated micro-systems and has been intensively pursued over the past decades," Wu explained. "The power density of our micro-muscle in combination with its multi-functionality distinguishes it from all current macro- or micro-torsional actuators/motors."

This kind of breakthrough opens doors for scientific progress being made exponentially, as these new robotic micro-muscles could potentially be used to build even smaller and more complex organisms.

Now that we have robot muscles and artificial hearts, how long will it be before I can go full Deus Ex-style cyborg?

Source: RT (thanks Asclepion!)

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Articles like this are pretty exciting, but I always feel they misrepresent the progress this shows. We are still decades away from applications of such things. But that is what the media does, take something and run with it. Can't argue with the excitement of the creation written of here.

Also, Vanadium Dioxide is a solid blue material that is both malleable and ductile (just like steel), so I would also imagine we are talking about a whole lot of heat. I mean, it takes temperatures of 910°C to change the lattice structure of iron to make steel, and 1536°C to melt it. So, Vanadium Oxide, has an even higher melting point, so it also stands to reason that it would have a higher molecular structure transition point... but that last bit is pure speculation on my part.

I'm not doubting this though, exciting stuff. Can't wait to see it in actual use. Then maybe I can shed this mortal coil and have my brain implanted into an awesome look alike robot... with the strength of 5 GORILLA'S! (a cookie to whoever can tell me what I just quoted)

Someday, when we use this stuff and it replaces us, we will become perfection.

Interesting stuff. We're approaching the golden age of robotics. DARPA just had a test in which international teams pitted their bipedal walking robots against an obstacle course - the results were quite impressive. Sure, some robots did fall down, but some others managed to spring from spot to spot, dodge obstacles, recover from being pushed, climb ladders, drive vehicles, locate and turn off switches. The purpose, DARPA said, was to find a "rescue" robot - a robot that could go into hazardous conditions and locate survivors and eliminate hazards. Of course, DARPA are looking for a military robot too, but the applications of these robots as a rescue vehicle is pretty amazing.

If this new muscle technology actually manages to be incorporated into a functioning robot, you could have a small child-size robot crawling into rubble and lifting off huge chunks of concrete to free survivors. More efficient muscles means that the robot can be smaller, or have more of its internal space dedicated to power sources or computational hardware.

Exciting times. I have no doubt that in 50 or 60 years, we'll have robot servants in our homes.

Objectable:
Someday, when we use this stuff and it replaces us, we will become perfection.

Dude, we will be far in advanced of those monkeys. Alot of the Borg look way too haphazard. In a number of years, we'll all be singing to the tune of Ghost in the Shell. I, for one, find such news bites intriguing as hell.

Do I really need to remind us all what we are really thinking?!

image

Description:

Myomer is an artificial analog of biological muscles with a greater strength to weight ratio. They are engaged with electrical current and its strength depends on the amount of fibers activated, not the current provided.

Myomer require large amounts of electrical voltage to function, with the larger "muscles" obviously requiring more energy than smaller. However, they have high electrical resistance, causing large amounts of waste heat which needs to be dispersed or the fibers will fry themselves. This does however grant an advantage as myomer cannot be stunned by electrical discharges, even more so as metal armor and skeletons have a low electrical resistance, channeling and discharging any strong electrical hits into the ground.

Production and Composition:

Myomer are microscopical poly-acetylene tubes filled with an acti-strandular fiber. These fibers are created by mixing biologically engineered bacteria with specific polymers within the tubes. An electric current is sent through these tube, causing the fibers to arrange themselves into a complex nano-structure similar to the proteins myosin and actin that allow biological muscles their movement.

Development:

Myomer fibers were first developed in 2350 by Terran Hegemony researcher Professor Gregory Atlas during the research project, called Operation Musclebound.

Bring on the Battlemechs!

In all honesty, stuff like this always has limitations. Personally I am curious as to how well it scales and if reaching a certain threshold results in lost gains.

I wonder what material they will anchor it to that could resist such colossal strains? DARPA, have you guys secretly invented Adamantium?

Steven Bogos:
how long will it be before I can go full Deus Ex-style cyborg?

Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation so it might never end up in Human cybernetic muscle, although I am not sure if Vanadium Dioxide counts as one its various Oxidation states.

Any chemists around here that could clear that up?

It needs to be stressed this is all microscopic level testing and theorising under laboratory conditions, things don't just translate instantly to the real world.
For all intents and purposes these are still warping plates which have very little traversal, very few repetitions before failure, can be very hard to control in environments with changing temperatures and most importantly tensile strength falls drastically with scale.

I don't oppose progress in the matter but we need to keep some perspective.

J Tyran:
[quote="Steven Bogos" post="7.837497.20537836"]Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation

So what you're saying is, we'll need something like Neuropazine?

Adam Jensen:

J Tyran:
[quote="Steven Bogos" post="7.837497.20537836"]Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation

So what you're saying is, we'll need something like Neuropazine?

Well if Vanadium Dioxide does count as an oxidation state you wouldn't ask for it, pretty nasty stuff really. Small doses (10-20mg) of the less toxic compounds cause asthma, stomach cramps and allergy like effects such as skin rashes and rhinitis. The more dangerous ones can have mercury like poisoning neurological effects and behaviour changes along with heart and circulatory disease, liver and kidney hemorrhages, and damage to the nervous system as well as the allergy

Yes I know you where joking (hence the you wouldnt ask for it remark), I don't think there is an antidote like drug though but again all this is speculation on my part because even if it is toxic I do not know how toxic it is compared to the more common Vanadium compounds. There is never a chemist around when you need one.

J Tyran:

Steven Bogos:
how long will it be before I can go full Deus Ex-style cyborg?

Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation so it might never end up in Human cybernetic muscle, although I am not sure if Vanadium Dioxide counts as one its various Oxidation states.

Any chemists around here that could clear that up?

If you're asking about the oxidation state of Vanadium in vanadium dioxide that's +4 which is the second highest oxidation state possible. I'm not sure about its toxicity since it's no one of those compounds I've had to deal with, but if I remember correctly it's fairly stable and not very reactive. Sorry I can't be of more use. Edit: After some searching I did find something about tetravalent vanadium being quite toxic, but I am not completely certain about the details. That said Vanadium V (+5) is part of the toxic molecule of toadstool.

Mr.K.:
It needs to be stressed this is all microscopic level testing and theorising under laboratory conditions, things don't just translate instantly to the real world.
For all intents and purposes these are still warping plates which have very little traversal, very few repetitions before failure, can be very hard to control in environments with changing temperatures and most importantly tensile strength falls drastically with scale.

I don't oppose progress in the matter but we need to keep some perspective.

Oh this post is just wonderful. This is more or less what we should always keep in mind when reading things like this. It's exciting and it's easy to get caught up in the potential and the possibilities and then start believe that everything we've seen in science fiction is going to come true within the next year, but sadly as this guy pointed out lots of things never pan out. The problem is that too often we want to believe and that blinds us.

Hearts? Muscles? give me new eyes already , this resolution is crap and ones fuzzy already :P but really both are amazing and I cant even begin to process this information and how it will be used , leaps and bounds as always science.

Better start saving up for those augs!

yes, things can get blown out of context... but dont forget its the great minds of the people who r paid to get caught up in the potential and the possibilities of research that help bear fruit to the idea of what was thought impossible..

Science! Working as usual I see, beautiful science.

Great work mad scientists, now start replacing human muscles with this and see what happens!

Yopaz:

J Tyran:

Steven Bogos:
how long will it be before I can go full Deus Ex-style cyborg?

Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation so it might never end up in Human cybernetic muscle, although I am not sure if Vanadium Dioxide counts as one its various Oxidation states.

Any chemists around here that could clear that up?

If you're asking about the oxidation state of Vanadium in vanadium dioxide that's +4 which is the second highest oxidation state possible. I'm not sure about its toxicity since it's no one of those compounds I've had to deal with, but if I remember correctly it's fairly stable and not very reactive. Sorry I can't be of more use. Edit: After some searching I did find something about tetravalent vanadium being quite toxic, but I am not completely certain about the details. That said Vanadium V (+5) is part of the toxic molecule of toadstool.

I had the very same question myself. The article is not very specific. That is why in my first comment I was talking about Vanadium(IV) Oxide. That is the most common form of it and it's a metal that has the same crystaline structure as steel or a lot of other metals. And as you said, Vanadium(V) Oxide is known to be toxic, but I am not familiar with the toxicity levels of Vanadium(IV) Oxide. And wikipedia failed me on that one! What bastards!

So all you physics majors out there, exactly what kind of damage could an object cause if a person could throw an object 50x their own weight, so say, 10,000lbs, and 5x their length, or 30ft, within .06 seconds of contact with the object? I'm asking because that sounds scary fast and I'm picturing 2 guys in Crysis style muscle suits duking it out in the street like Kal El and Zod juggling semis at mach speed.

I actually though about Raiden and general cyborgs in MGR. All their strengh is from a similar muscle fiber, but there it is based on "Carbon nano-tubes" if I'm not mistaken.

Valderis:
Science! Working as usual I see, beautiful science.

Great work mad scientists, now start replacing human muscles with this and see what happens!

Damn right! Forget steroid abuse and doping in weightlifting competitions, what will we do when the guy who can bench press a semi comes for us?

OT: I should really spend more time reading science news like this. Instead I just play Binding of Isaac and procrastinate my school projects.

now, now, guys, before you start throwing jeeps around, remember:
your may handle, but your spine may not.

I can't wait to see how it could be marketed, using this stuff in industrial machinery would be pretty obvious, but if you want to use them in body modifications you will need a set or kit to fully support your body using it.

Combustion Kevin:
I can't wait to see how it could be marketed, using this stuff in industrial machinery would be pretty obvious, but if you want to use them in body modifications you will need a set or kit to fully support your body using it.

We already got power armor prototypes, I guess implementing them there is a tad easier than surgically replacing human muscles.

But yeah, I guess it's a matter of time till we get an Adam-Jensen-like übermensch prototype. I'm not saying that it's gonna work right away, but the research will definitely go into that direction.

1966 - Star Trek shows us a future of instant communication. People think it'll never happen.
2013 - We've got fucking datapads and communicators...

Who the hell knows what sci-fi magic will become REAL FUCKING SCIENCE anymore... seriously. I think we're only limited by our imaginations and timeframes, but maybe some of the most impossible things will be proven otherwise... Makes me wonder what I'll live to see, and maybe how much longer I'll actually live.

Baresark:

Yopaz:

J Tyran:

Iirc Vanadium compounds become more and more toxic to humans the greater their degree of oxidisation so it might never end up in Human cybernetic muscle, although I am not sure if Vanadium Dioxide counts as one its various Oxidation states.

Any chemists around here that could clear that up?

If you're asking about the oxidation state of Vanadium in vanadium dioxide that's +4 which is the second highest oxidation state possible. I'm not sure about its toxicity since it's no one of those compounds I've had to deal with, but if I remember correctly it's fairly stable and not very reactive. Sorry I can't be of more use. Edit: After some searching I did find something about tetravalent vanadium being quite toxic, but I am not completely certain about the details. That said Vanadium V (+5) is part of the toxic molecule of toadstool.

I had the very same question myself. The article is not very specific. That is why in my first comment I was talking about Vanadium(IV) Oxide. That is the most common form of it and it's a metal that has the same crystaline structure as steel or a lot of other metals. And as you said, Vanadium(V) Oxide is known to be toxic, but I am not familiar with the toxicity levels of Vanadium(IV) Oxide. And wikipedia failed me on that one! What bastards!

Yeah, I went on the article myself and it didn't mention anything about the toxicity. The article about the element did say that all vanadium compounds should be considered toxic though and that vanadium(IV) is 5 times more toxic than vanadium(III), but no real mention of this particle compound. If only this had been about Chromium I could offer some knowledge, but vanadium isn't an element I am familiar with.

Yopaz:

Baresark:

Yopaz:

If you're asking about the oxidation state of Vanadium in vanadium dioxide that's +4 which is the second highest oxidation state possible. I'm not sure about its toxicity since it's no one of those compounds I've had to deal with, but if I remember correctly it's fairly stable and not very reactive. Sorry I can't be of more use. Edit: After some searching I did find something about tetravalent vanadium being quite toxic, but I am not completely certain about the details. That said Vanadium V (+5) is part of the toxic molecule of toadstool.

I had the very same question myself. The article is not very specific. That is why in my first comment I was talking about Vanadium(IV) Oxide. That is the most common form of it and it's a metal that has the same crystaline structure as steel or a lot of other metals. And as you said, Vanadium(V) Oxide is known to be toxic, but I am not familiar with the toxicity levels of Vanadium(IV) Oxide. And wikipedia failed me on that one! What bastards!

Yeah, I went on the article myself and it didn't mention anything about the toxicity. The article about the element did say that all vanadium compounds should be considered toxic though and that vanadium(IV) is 5 times more toxic than vanadium(III), but no real mention of this particle compound. If only this had been about Chromium I could offer some knowledge, but vanadium isn't an element I am familiar with.

Thats what threw me, there isn't any real information about Vanadium Dioxide around so its hard to find out much about it without some serious research. I guess it must be a relatively new or unique compound, I remember from chemistry about the toxicity of Vanadium increasing as it became more and more oxidised with the most oxidised compounds being considered as toxic as certain heavy metals (with similar effects too) but I guess it would take a chemist with a fair bit of experience with it to answer the question about this compound.

Get out of the way nature.

Damn science, you scary!

Hearts, Muscles, i should start saving up for these, id love to make my body actually more useful than a lump of fat.

amaranth_dru:
1966 - Star Trek shows us a future of instant communication. People think it'll never happen.
2013 - We've got fucking datapads and communicators...

Who the hell knows what sci-fi magic will become REAL FUCKING SCIENCE anymore... seriously. I think we're only limited by our imaginations and timeframes, but maybe some of the most impossible things will be proven otherwise... Makes me wonder what I'll live to see, and maybe how much longer I'll actually live.

precisely. I remmeber when back in 50s B movies you would see inventions like Flat Screen TVs and microwaves that heat food and everyone was laughing at "Those crazy stuff that will never happen" and here, now, everyone has one of those. Sci-Fi is different from regular fantasy in that it shows what may one day actually happen. That is, if the Sci-fi does not forget the SCI part of it.

 

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