Fuel Powered Muscles For Robots
Humanoid robots are powered mostly by batteries these days, but if Ray Baughman, director of the NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas, has his way, robots may have muscles powered by high-density fuel.
Just as we convert our fuel – food – into chemical energy, Baughman envisions a future where a shot of high-density fuel will reinvigorate a robot’s energy.
These robot muscles are made on the nanoscale — the artificial muscles are made of very thin wires that are coated with nano particles.
Baughman said the nano fuels can store 30 times more energy than batteries, and it can make the artificial muscles up to 500 times stronger than human muscles.
Researchers have been working in this area for several years; technology that first appeared in computer chip fabrication may prove valuable.
To compress more power into smaller volumes, researchers have begun to build fuel cells on the fuzzy frontier of nanotechnology. Silicon etching, evaporation, and other processes borrowed from chip manufacturers have been used to create tightly packed channel arrays to guide the flow of fuel through the cell. The point is to pack a large catalytic surface area into a wafer-thin volume. This approach is not only expensive, but inherently limited by its two-dimensional nature.
An early sfnal look at fuel-powered robots can be found in the 1989 novel Weapon by Robert Mason. In the story, a military android named Solo is intended to replace human soldiers in battle. Solo's powerful muscles allow it to perform feats of strength, speed and endurance.
(Solo movie poster)
Update 19-Oct-2011: Martin Caidin specifically uses this term in his 1972 novel Cyborg, which was the basis for the film Six Million Dollar Man; see the entry for artificial muscles. End update.
Via EarthSky and Physorg. Thanks to Moira for the tip on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/16/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories