Origami-Based Artificial Muscle Can Lift 1,000 Times its Weigh

Origami constructions made out of folded paper

A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and from Harvard University have recently developed a series of artificial muscles. Their inspiration to create them and the technique came from the art of folding the paper known as origami. Because of this, these muscles can lift up to 1,000 times their own weigh. Still, even with all these strength, the muscles can be gentle enough to raise a flower, for example.

The journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has recently published an article which it describes this magnificent invention. The experts’ idea was to find a way to offer those soft robots huge strength which can be used in various domains and for different reasons. These robots could be used in outer space and inside our bodies. Now, with these artificial muscles, everything is possible.

A way to give soft robots super-strength

If you ask anyone in the world about robots, they will tell you that over the course of history, they have been made out of metal. This gave them strength and posture and offered them more chance of survival. However, thanks to the advanced technology we have today, there are also soft robots in the world. Those need to be like this in order to reach certain hidden places. Also, to be able to survive in certain environments and most importantly, to be able to interact with people.

This is why scientists are now struggling to create robots with soft parts. They even went as far as to create one that looks like an octopus, to test this flexibility. According to Daniela Rus, one of the senior authors of this recent study, for years, experts have wanted t build soft-bodied robots. However, it’s not their construction which is the problem, but their lack of strength. This is why they turned to origami and built those artificial muscles based on those techniques.

The key t these muscles were folded structures which they sealed in a bag of polymer artificial skin. After that, they filled them with either fluid or air. When they sucked out the air or fluid, the structure would squeeze back together.

Image source: pxhere