Researchers from the University of California Berkeley believe they can develop artificial muscle that is one thousand times stronger than human muscle (1). They are creating the material from vanadium dioxide at the micro-level. As the material heats up to 67 degrees it becomes an extremely strong structure that has wide application.
The new artificial muscle may someday be used in Prosthetics or other medical procedures (2). Controlled by a sensor similar to human muscles it may function and work nearly identical to human limbs. Researchers hope that such developments will lead to a new era of medicine and robotics. The Sci-Fi is nearly here!
The team works for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and are astounded at the strength (3). Prior robotics is slower and less agile than human tissue. This new discovery may offer a new wave of development. Building a suit of such material will allow someone to lift up a small car and throw it across the street.
It isn’t hard to imagine some places where this would be beneficial. A warehousing company may need to lift large packages and having suits of such material means that the individual worker could carry large boxes easily. It becomes an enhancement of human abilities that can increase productivity and safety. Certainly, such developments are further out in the future but they are likely to be here soon enough.