Nature really knows how to get design right. When it comes to muscles, Mother Nature has come up with a brilliant structure. But could the structure be even stronger? Scientists from the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas are coming up with a way to use carbon nanotubes as the material for muscles modeled after natural structures.
Fast Company notes, "By observing the inner workings of an octopus's leg or an elephant's trunk, scientists have created muscles from carbon nanotubes that could one day power machines."The resulting prototypes are as strong as steel but super light.
The designers note that these carbon nanotube fibers could be used in clothing for the elderly that can help weaker muscles do their tasks. The US Army may also want to use the artificial muscles in robotic exoskeletons.
We know, however, that there are still real issues with using carbon nanotubes in products without seriously thinking about and studying their consequences, and that includes clothing. That said, it is interesting to see how even the strongest muscles we can devise are still based on what Mother Nature has already thought up.