A new robotic muscle which can be soft to manipulate fragile objects and strong to lift heavy objects.
Now, researchers led by Christoph Keplinger, a physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, have married the best of both technologies, creating soft musclelike actuators that use electricity to drive the movement of liquids inside small pouches. The design is simple. The actuators start with small plastic pouches that contain an insulating liquid, such as regular canola oil from the supermarket. When researchers apply a voltage between electrodes placed on both sides of the pouch, they are drawn together, squeezing the liquid and causing it to flow to nearby regions. The upshot is that the actuator changes shape, and whatever is connected to it moves.
Here is the video demonstrating the actuator.
I wrote posts about artificial muscles, one about nitinol and another about elastomers. Click on these buttons to read the posts.