Strain-programmable fiber-based artificial muscle

Mehmet Kanik, Sirma Orguc, Georgios Varnavides, Jinwoo Kim, Thomas Benavides, Dani Gonzalez, Timothy Akintilo, C. Cem Tasan, Anantha P. Chandrakasan, Yoel Fink, Polina Anikeeva
Posted on Publisher's version


Artificial muscles may accelerate the development of robotics, haptics, and prosthetics. Although advances in polymer-based actuators have delivered unprecedented strengths, producing these devices at scale with tunable dimensions remains a challenge. We applied a high-throughput iterative fiber-drawing technique to create strain-programmable artificial muscles with dimensions spanning three orders of magnitude. These fiber-based actuators are thermally and optically controllable, can lift more than 650 times their own weight, and withstand strains of >1000%. Integration of conductive nanowire meshes within these fiber-based muscles offers piezoresistive strain feedback and demonstrates long-term resilience across >105 deformation cycles. The scalable dimensions of these fiber-based actuators and their strength and responsiveness may extend their impact from engineering fields to biomedical applications.