harvard research from the wyss institute and MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory have developed origami-inspired robot muscles that can lift up to 1,000 times their own weight. these soft robots made of metal and plastic and surrounded by air and liquid, comes after MIT revealed an exoskeleton robot in september, similarly inspired by the japanese craft.

 

 

these models are encased in a plastic or textile outer ‘skin’ aiding their flexibility, allowing them to mimic real muscles muscles through the use of their system controls. air or water pressure gives these soft, seemingly weak, ‘actuators’ strength allowing them to lift impressive weights.

 

 

‘artificial muscle-like actuators are one of the most important grand challenges in all of engineering’, rob wood, professor of engineering explains. ‘now that we have created actuators with properties similar to natural muscle, we can imagine building almost any robot for almost any task.’

 

the robots’ origami-like design gives the robot muscles space efficient qualities, allowing them to fold into programmable patterns and saving on space. costing the researches less than a dollar to make in some cases, the actuators are part of what seems like a simpler framework for a robot, using basic materials and designing them to move in certain ways as opposed to imagining a model with infinite possibilities.

 

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