A New Artificial Muscle Will Make Robots A Thousand Times Stronger Than You

Robots, not content with their actuators and their hydraulics and their crushing metal grip, are now taking our precious human muscles. OK, so they’re actually building their own artificial muscles. The point is, a robot can now have a muscle that will let them literally punt you for a field goal.

Well, once they scale it up. Currently, there are a few size concerns. But that doesn’t mean this robot muscle won’t kick your ass, according to GigaOm:

The team at Berkeley Lab was able to create the tiny system with the aid of a compound called vanadium dioxide, which rapidly changes from an insulator to a conductive metal at 67 degrees. In making its transition, the compound rapidly contracts, making it possible to mimic a muscle in torsion. The artificial micro-muscle performed impressively in tests, able to propel objects up to 50 times heavier than itself more than five times its length within just 60 milliseconds.

In other words, it’s able to mimic us, and do what we do literally a thousand times better. If that’s not enough for you, here’s the little muscle flinging crap in a video:

It’s true that the scientists will need to work out how to scale this particular robomuscle up to a level which it will actually be useful to Skynet. In the meantime, they’ll be working on the system to develop movement in small spaces with little energy expenditure. But don’t worry, flinging Buicks is likely only a few short years away.

(Image courtesy of Adil Mohamed on Flickr.)