Author Topic: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament  (Read 879 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« on: March 09, 2014, 10:38:37 PM »
Some of you are probably already aware of the discovery that hit the news a few weeks ago -- researchers at the University of Texas learned that appropriately coiled nylon monofilament line could be used to make heat-activated artificial muscles.  I'm trying to duplicate their work as a hobbyist.  You can follow the results so far at http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/03/homemade-artificial-muscles-from.html  I've successfully made some coils and gotten them to respond to heat.  Has anyone else tried to make these muscles yet?  Tips, questions, and discussion of your own tries at this type of muscle are welcome.

Offline bobonthenet

  • Beginner
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 02:14:53 PM »
I have not tried this but I am extremely curious about it.  This has been popping up on a number of my news feeds.  I have yet to see anyone relate their experience with it as a hobbyist.  I'm particularly anxious to hear how people will heat these electrically without using a heat gun like in the demonstration.   This could definitely have some exciting applications.

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 11:07:32 PM »
A single strand of copper magnet wire twisted into the muscle will do, it appears.  I can see that the tricky part will be getting the current right -- I just ruined a muscle with too much heat.

Offline jwatte

  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,343
  • Helpful? 81
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 10:37:08 AM »
My main question is how quickly you can relax the muscles after contraction?
Heat doesn't dissipate very quickly in air.

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 10:58:31 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to respond.  The cooldown time depends on the thickness of the nylon filament, and possibly also the compactness of the coils.  The thin (I'm guessing 380 um) filament that I was working with at first returned to its original configuration within a few seconds after being heated, if I remember correctly.  I'm working with some 711 um filament now, in a tighter coil, and it takes quite a while to relax after heating -- 10 seconds or more.  I'll try to do some better characterizations and supply actual measurements later, but I haven't had much time to work on the project this week.

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 10:07:26 PM »
I've got another official update on this, finally.  I was able to get one of my muscles to contract and relax with electrical heating.  http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/03/its-time-for-some-updates-on.html

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2014, 07:34:13 PM »
Another update, and this one has videos of working muscles!  I also discuss the different types of heating element that I tried out.  http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/03/diy-fishing-line-artificial-muscles-iii.html

Offline jwatte

  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,343
  • Helpful? 81
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 10:18:47 PM »
I've been wondering if someone could build these muscles on the inside of a tube, and run hot/cold oil or water through the tube to contract/expand. At the top of the tube, you'd have entry of both a hot-oil and cold-oil recirculating system, and you'd use a vent to let one or the other in to expand/contract.


Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 06:34:51 PM »
Another update, finally! http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/05/homemade-artificial-muscles-iv.html

The muscles are getting pretty good.  I think I'm almost ready to build some for an actual application.

@jwatte: The original university research team did do a hot water/cold water setup, with some impressive results: they lifted 30 lb. with a bundle of four muscles.  See one of the videos here: http://io9.com/scientists-just-created-some-of-the-most-powerful-muscl-1526957560

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2014, 04:59:38 PM »
Work on the artificial muscles continues.  I have an update planned for tomorrow with some data on how much weight they can lift and how far, but before I get to that, there's some little stuff.  First, I made a gigantic muscle out of nylon trimmer line, and it worked -- further expanding the possibilities for making these at home.  Second, I have some observations and speculations about why the coils of the muscles sometimes "flatten."  http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/08/homemade-nylon-artificial-muscles-v.html

Offline WriterOfMindsTopic starter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Artificial Muscles from Nylon Monofilament
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 10:53:54 PM »
And here's the promised update with the muscle characterization data.  http://writerofminds.blogspot.com/2014/08/nylon-fishing-line-artificial-muscles-vi.html

 


Get Your Ad Here