Researchers develop graphene-enhanced artificial muscle with exceptional strength

Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Pusan National University and CNRS have developed an artificial muscle that is 17 times more powerful than that of humans. The muscle made of graphene-liquid crystal elastomer-based fiber bundles will reportedly be commercialized through a Korean company.

The main factor that hinders the development of high-performance artificial muscles is that scientists are not able to mechanically select a certain part of the artificial muscle to contract and expand. Large and bulky artificial muscles are not accurate enough.

The researchers applied graphene to a liquid crystal elastomer material that contracts and expands depending on temperatures. The test prototype was capable of lifting a one-kilogram (2.2 pounds) dumbbell. An artificial inchworm created with muscle fiber moved three times faster than its living counterpart.
"Starting with this technological research, we can use practical artificial muscle materials in various sectors including robotics and wearables," KAIST researcher Kim Sang-ouk said in a statement. He said that there had been artificial muscles with one or two outstanding material characteristics but there was no invention that had overall outstanding characteristics ideal for practical uses. 

Posted: Dec 08,2022 by Roni Peleg