This undated handout photo released on November 27, 2017,courtesy of Shuguang Li, shows a demonstration of strength of an artificial muscle. "AFP PHOTO /SHUGUANG LI/HANDOUT"
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Inspired by the folding technique of origami, U.S. researchers said Monday they have crafted cheap, artificial muscles for robots that give them the power to lift up to 1,000 times their own weight. The advance offers a leap forward in the field of soft robotics, which is fast replacing an older generation of robots that were jerky and rigid in their movements, researchers say.The muscles, known as actuators, are built on a framework of metal coils or plastic sheets, and each muscle costs around $1 to make, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed U.S. journal.Their origami inspiration derives from a zigzag structure that some of the muscles employ, allowing them to contract and expand as commanded, using vacuum-powered air or water pressure.
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