Jan 29, 2017

Textile muscles could find use in a literal “power suit”

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, materials

There are many people who could use a bit of help moving their limbs, but they don’t necessarily need a full-on exoskeleton. Well, imagine if their clothes could provide that help. Such a thing may one day be possible, thanks to the recent creation of “textile muscles.”

In a study conducted at Sweden’s Linköping University and University of Borås, scientists coated mass-producible cellulose yarn with a flexible electroactive polymer known as polypyrrole.

When a low voltage is applied to the polymer, it increases in volume, causing the yarn fibers to increase in length accordingly – when the electrical current is switched off, the fibers retract back to their original length. By varying the manner in which those fibers are woven together, it’s possible to tune the force of the material toward different tasks.

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