A Polish roboticist, Łukasz Koźlik, better known by his YouTube channel Automaton Robotics has developed a robot arm powered by artificial muscles that not only mimic the complexity of a human arm with a full range of motion but also strong enough to lift a dumbbell.
In a video, which is the latest in a series of updates of the robot arm development, Automaton Robotics demonstrated the limb’s full range of motion as well as static strength test where he manipulate the hand to lift a 7 kilograms (15.6 lbs) weight.
Koźlik’s creation is based on McKibben air muscles also known as pneumatic artificial muscles developed in the 50s that uses either air or hydraulic fluid, such as water, to fill a bladder that serves the function of contracting and relaxing the “muscles” and thereby achieve muscle mimicry.
However, Automaton Robotics has further developed the concept with the use of boiled low-temperature fluid to realize a fully electric power version.
“This artificial muscles robotic arm is operated by water and consumes 200W at peak. We invent and produce portable power supply and our own valves to have complete controllability of speed contraction and compress the whole powering system (for a full body) inside humanlike robot torso.”
It is an impressive work of science that deserves more attention than it has now. Even more impressive is, after watching the demo video and realizing that the demo arm was operating with half of the artificial muscles when compared to a human body. Somehow, I have a feeling that Łukasz Koźlik is the real-life Dr. Alfred Lanning.
Keep on going for the said video. Try to keep your jaw up when watching it because it is really damn impressive.
Images: YouTube (Automaton Robotics).