The team of robot researchers at the University of Texas built artificial muscles that could do over a hundred times the work of a natural muscle, said head of the team, Ray Baughman.
And, while most artificial muscles are powered by electrickery, Baughman has used raw booze to get his muscles to contract and do the job your right arm's for.
The muscles are built out of an elastic metal called shape memory wire. Baughman explains that the material contracts when heated. The contraction, he says "is like the contraction of arm muscles in our body."
The shape memory wire is coated with a catalyst and alcohol added. The subsequent reaction with oxygen in the air causes the mixture to burn, heating the muscle until it contracts.
Baughman, who has been hired by the US military, envisages using the muscles in prosthetic limbs or artificial hearts or building an army of super-powered all-conquering androids.
"In a very distant future the humanoid robot who is sitting next to you in a bar might be drinking alcohol in order to work the next day," the scientist wittily suggested. µ
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