artificial muscles

artificial muscles

Electroactive polymers (EAPs), plastic substances that move in response to electrical stimulation. These are dielectric elastomers which, when in sheet form and sandwiched between compliant electrodes to which a voltage is applied, contract in the direction of the electric field line and expand perpendicularly to that direction. The effect is the result of a simple attraction between opposite charges. Artificial muscles are a recent technological advance in mechanical actuation likely to be widely exploited in medicine and in other fields as replacements for bulky and unsuitable electric motors.
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