A study published this week in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) is authored by researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). The researchers have developed artificial muscles capable of lifting 1,000 times it’s own weight.
The artificial muscles are not expensive to create and are “programmed” by using origami techniques. Using a combination of a skeleton, fluid medium and flexible skin, the muscles can grip, lift and even twist.
Their ability to lift such heavy objects comes from utilizing the pressure difference inside the muscles. See them in action in the video below from the Wyss Institute.