Research for soft robotics (robotics used for safe medical uses like bay max from that one movie. Soft meaning if the robot fell over onto a human it would not crush and kill the human since most humanoid robots weight 100s of pounds ) has intrigued me and has led me to find Nitinol. Nitinol was theoretically perfect for my needs. It used electricity and required no dangerous construction. The problems was the lack of ability to self manufacture, lack of overall strength, and terrible insulation of heat. It wouldn’t make sense to make a safe robot out of Nitinol because it could catch on fire and requires a good amount of electricity to power a single wire. Electroactive polymers (EAP) were also great theoretically. The problems were cost and high amounts electricity to power it. If someone knows a safe alternative please let me know. I saw Nitinol is formed using vacuum induction melting which the machines cost an arm and a leg. If you have Aluminium and titanium or other combinations of elements would that yield a similar product using VIM and be just like Nitinol but with different characteristics? My goal is to make an artificial “muscle” for medical assistance robots that needs to use a small amount of electricity for it to preform a task, it also needs to be able to lift more than five times its weight in wire form. Thanks.
– BuckStanley, via the Ask a science question page.
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