Artificial Muscles Made from Fishing Line May Beat Carbon Nanotubes

Artificial Muscles Made from Fishing Line May Beat Carbon Nanotubes

Researchers have created powerful artificial muscles from fishing line for a fraction of the price of carbon nanotubes.

While artificial muscles are typically made from materials like carbon nanotubes, which are expensive and difficult to produce, a group of researchers has made a breakthrough that may revolutionize the world of materials science. By using simple fishing line, these researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles ever produced, at a fraction of the cost of traditional materials.

"The energy per cycle that we obtain from these artificial muscles, and their weightlifting abilities, are extraordinary," says Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. "They can lift about 100 times heavier weight and generate about 100-times higher power than natural muscle of the same weight and length."

Baughman and his team use a simple process to twist the fishing line until it coils in on itself like a spring. The resulting "muscle fibers" can then be triggered by different stimuli, such as heating and cooling. Existing artificial muscle technologies are more difficult to produce, generally less efficient, and orders of magnitude more expensive than the simple high-strength polymer fiber of fishing line. One kilogram of fishing line costs $5; the same quantity of carbon nanotubes costs $5,000.

Source: io9

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Sounds fantastic and would be best deployed in third-world countries where minefields exist and medical funds are lacking or nonexistent. However, I'd be more convinced with the results of a long-term repeated stress test compared to nanotubes - Fishing line doesn't age well with repeated use, and I'm certain that when it comes to prosthetic limbs and organs, recipients don't want an inexpensive option that might balance out with a higher frequency of necessary part replacements down the line.

Dr.Awkward:
Sounds fantastic and would be best deployed in third-world countries where minefields exist and medical funds are lacking or nonexistent. However, I'd be more convinced with the results of a long-term repeated stress test compared to nanotubes - Fishing line doesn't age well with repeated use, and I'm certain that when it comes to prosthetic limbs and organs, recipients don't want an inexpensive option that might balance out with a higher frequency of necessary part replacements down the line.

They wouldn't necessarily have to be used on people, I'm not quite sure that's even possible anyway since the extremely significant task of integrating such things with the nervous system still remains as far as I know.

Their application would rather be in robotics for specific cases where you need humanoid limbs for whatever reason.

Hagi:
They wouldn't necessarily have to be used on people, I'm not quite sure that's even possible anyway since the extremely significant task of integrating such things with the nervous system still remains as far as I know.

The nervous system can be integrated for moving it, but you dont see it all that often since there are no artificial limbs going around that support this and arent either horrendously expensive or much heavier than the original limb.

That said though, i dont think fishing line is the answer. At least not for the long term.

Hagi:

They wouldn't necessarily have to be used on people, I'm not quite sure that's even possible anyway since the extremely significant task of integrating such things with the nervous system still remains as far as I know.

Their application would rather be in robotics for specific cases where you need humanoid limbs for whatever reason.

Another possible use could be prosthetic limbs so if these fibers prove useful then the cost of prosthetic could possible go down, that would be a good application as well I think.

We don't even have carbon fiber nano-tubes in practical use yet do we? What about the graphene revolution that they've been talking about since 2009?

It's getting so hard to care about all this stuff when it's 20 years off.

gigastar:

Hagi:
They wouldn't necessarily have to be used on people, I'm not quite sure that's even possible anyway since the extremely significant task of integrating such things with the nervous system still remains as far as I know.

The nervous system can be integrated for moving it, but you dont see it all that often since there are no artificial limbs going around that support this and arent either horrendously expensive or much heavier than the original limb.

That said though, i dont think fishing line is the answer. At least not for the long term.

Really? Didn't know that.

Last I read up about this things, which admittedly is a few years ago, we were still a long way off from any sort of practical integration. I mean sure, we could hook nerves up to things, receive signals and do something in response to that but it wasn't anything very practical, just extremely rough movements nowhere near precise enough to accomplish a task like walking which requires rather a lot to keep your balance and stuff like that.

That is actually an incredible find and so stupid simple to set up people could go do it right now, hell I might just put my old fishing gear to use for once.

Remain so be seen what longevity can be done with polymers but with such cheap builds that almost becomes irrelevant.

The article fails to mention when and where I can replace my limbs with bionic ones. Preferably in royal purple or canary yellow, with built-in energy blades and the ability to play Angry Birds.

gigastar:

Hagi:
They wouldn't necessarily have to be used on people, I'm not quite sure that's even possible anyway since the extremely significant task of integrating such things with the nervous system still remains as far as I know.

The nervous system can be integrated for moving it, but you dont see it all that often since there are no artificial limbs going around that support this and arent either horrendously expensive or much heavier than the original limb.

That said though, i dont think fishing line is the answer. At least not for the long term.

There's also the case for biocompatibility. I'm not too sure how well the body would accept this material. You might be abe to wire it to your nerves but it won't matter if the fibers are rejected a week into the surgery.

One step closer to cyborg ninjas cutting up giant robots.

I never asked for this... but goddamn if the future doesn't sound awesome. Even if, as suggested above, this results in limbs with limited lifespan, imagine the advantages of cheap, essentially disposable bionic bodyparts. "Huh, gotta help Mike move at the weekend. Think I'll leave my custom-made, lifelike arm at home and pick up a cheap super-strength one for the day."

Battletech, here we come! One of the technological breakthroughs that led to giant laser robots is "myomers," artificial muscles that responded to electrical currents!

Hi ho Centurion, Catapult, and Locust!

And, of course, the Urbanmech!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pyCsu0QRO0

Fishing line... so that's what those newfangled Crysis suits were made from.

Nurb:
We don't even have carbon fiber nano-tubes in practical use yet do we? What about the graphene revolution that they've been talking about since 2009?

It's getting so hard to care about all this stuff when it's 20 years off.

well they are still discovering the properties of graphene and new versions, etc

Nurb:
We don't even have carbon fiber nano-tubes in practical use yet do we? .

There's quite a bit of controversy that they produce asbestos like health risks - cancer. There's still a major debate regarding the health issues.

Metal Gear Rising when?

Nurb:
We don't even have carbon fiber nano-tubes in practical use yet do we? What about the graphene revolution that they've been talking about since 2009?

It's getting so hard to care about all this stuff when it's 20 years off.

sadly thatshow science works. you invent/discover something. do multiple tries, 5 years or so after you start seeing it applied in soem technologies, 10 years later something like specialized clinics or military uses, then you get the luxury variants, and 25 or so years down the like it becomes commonplace enough that most people actually own one.

Remus:
Fishing line... so that's what those newfangled Crysis suits were made from.

actually... if you look close you can see fishing lines in there.... (due to how escapist resizes the image you may need to rightclick and press view image)

image

Artificial hearts, nerve splices, and now bionic muscle... I do believe we are entering the future ladies and gentlemen.

I totally asked for this

Fishing line? Incredible. Now, can someone tell me what happens when the inevitable tangle occur?

 

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