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Fluid-drive high performance bionic artificial muscle with adjustable muscle architecture

Xie, D.Su, Y.Li, X.Chen, J.Shi, X.Liang, D.Yip, J.Liu, J.Li, Z.Tong, R.
Advanced Intelligent Systems

High-performance artificial muscle is always the pursuit of researchers for robotics. Herein, a bionic artificial muscle is reported called “ExoMuscle” mimicking the sarcomere in skeletal muscle with a bio-inspired structure to contract “myofilaments” enabling the artificial muscle to mimic the architecture of muscle such as parallel, fusiform, convergent, and pennation and beyond the performance of skeletal muscle. The reported actuators excel in various aspects compared with skeletal muscle including actuation stress (0.41–0.9 MPa), strain (50%), optimal length, velocity-independence output, power density (10.94 kW kg−1), and efficiency (69.11%). With its own adjustable pennation architecture, it achieves variable actuation stress up to 0.9 MPa meanwhile maintaining high efficiency. Furthermore, ExoMuscle highly conforms to the anatomical complexity of the human body to cooperate with skeletal muscles closely opening the door for bio-robotics, especially wearable robots.