Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-21

human skeletal muscles, respectively,
and as they continue development, they
expect to produce even higher levels of
performance.
The cavatappi artificial muscles are
based on twisted polymer actuators
(TPAs), which were powerful, lightweight,
and inexpensive when they were
introduced; however, they also were very
inefficient and slow to actuate because
they had to be heated and cooled.
Additionally, their efficiency is only about
2 percent. The new cavatappi actuators
use pressurized fluid to actuate, enabling
them to respond much faster; as a result,
they are far more likely to be adopted.
They also demonstrate contractile efficiency
of up to about 45 percent, which is
very high in the field of soft actuation.
The technology could be used in soft
robotics applications, conventional
robotic actuators such as walking robots,
A BC DE F
or potentially in assistive technologies
like exoskeletons or prostheses.
Future work will include the use of
cavatappi artificial muscles in many
applications due to their simplicity as
well as their low cost, light weight, flexibility,
efficiency, and strain energy recovery
properties, among other benefits.
For more information, contact Northern
Arizona University Communications at
NAUcomm@nau.edu; 928-523-2282.
G
H
7mm
2mm
20 mm
Cavatappi pasta (A) and the actuators developed (C-H) from the simple drawn polymer tubes (B).
7mm
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov2
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - MD-Cov3
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