Metal that can become soft and stiff just like human muscles

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Plazma Inferno!, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    It's not the new metal as the article headline claims, yet an extended mechanical suspension. But it's still intriguing.
    HRL Laboratories has announced they’ve been able to replicate the reactions of human muscle in metal. Their goal is to use this new technology to create cars with smoother rides and, more intriguingly, more human-like robots.
    In a paper published in the most recent issue of Science Advances, the researchers claim that their technology, "variable stiffness vibration isolator" can change from stiff to soft by a factor of 100 in milliseconds, independent of how much mechanical force is applied. This technology, they argue, far surpasses any previous mechanisms trying to do the same thing.
    Edont Knoff likes this.
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  3. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

    Battlemech, mecha, always had this concept of synthetic muscles for (giant) robots. Cool to see that this concept is researched in real as well.

    A pity though that this is just an adjustable damper at the moment, and no actor, but such dampers are needed in a lot of machines and applications, so this is a good invention, nevertheless.

    A related field of interesting substances are the non-newtonian fluids. Some of them can flow but become fairly stiff at impact.

    The new subtance reminds me of that, just that it's stiffness can be controlled, while the reaction of the fluids depends on the incoming force only.
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