Scientists develop new type of artificial muscle for use in miniature robots

UOW researchers have mimicked the supercoiling properties of DNA to develop a new type of artificial muscles for use in miniature robot applications.

Their research is published today (Thursday 29 April AEST) in Science Robotics.

One of the challenges to the miniaturisation of robotics technology – such as developing micro-tools for remote robotic surgery – is that conventional mechanical drive systems (or “actuators”) are difficult to downsize without loss of performance.

Artificial muscles that generate large and reversible movement, high mechanical work output, respond quickly and last for millions of cycles would be ideally suited to use in miniature machines said the study’s lead author Professor Geoffrey Spinks from UOW’s Australian Institute for Innovative Materials.

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