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THIS CLOSE TO THE BIONIC MAN

Cindy Maddera

Researcher Ray Baughman has developed artificial muscles that are powered by chemical energy which is fueled by alcohol. Current machines that mimic natural muscles are hydraulic or gear powered and fueled with electric currents, but Baughman's artificial muscles are made of an elastic metal called "shape memory wire". Baughman says that these artificial muscles can do over a hundred times more work and are a hundred times stronger than actual muscles. The artificial muscles work a lot like the muscles in your body. The shape memory wire is coated with a catalyst and when alcohol is added the memory wire heats up and contracts. The muscles expand when the alcohol is gone.

The application for these artificial muscles is limitless. They can be used as prosthetic limbs to self-sufficient robotic androids. Imagine, androids fueled by alcohol. Wait...isn't that how Bender works?