Sun-powered muscle could carry soft robots

12/13/2012 | New Scientist

Researchers developed an artificial muscle that bends on its own when hit with light. The gel-like substance, called a photoresponsive actuator, "absorbs water like an expanding and contracting sponge" when it is hit with ultraviolet light at a 365-nanometer wavelength, said Osaka University researcher Akira Harada, who helped develop the substance. Light-powered muscles could prove useful to soft robots, which are flexible and do not have a skeletal frame.

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