Special Reviews

Mobile Robots: Motor Challenges and Materials Solutions

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  16 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5853, pp. 1094-1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.1146351

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Bolted-down robots labor in our factories, performing the same task over and over again. Where are the robots that run and jump? Equaling human performance is very difficult for many reasons, including the basic challenge of demonstrating motors and transmissions that efficiently match the power per unit mass of muscle. In order to exceed animal agility, new actuators are needed. Materials that change dimension in response to applied voltage, so-called artificial muscle technologies, outperform muscle in most respects and so provide a promising means of improving robots. In the longer term, robots powered by atomically perfect fibers will outrun us all.

View Full Text