Robotics

Morphing robots can grip, climb and crawl like insects

Pulling inspiration from the natural world, researchers at Colorado State University have developed a trio of robots that can morph their bodies and legs as needed to better crawl, shimmy or swim over difficult terrain.

Robotics

Researchers develop self-sensing electric artificial muscles

In a study published recently in Advanced Intelligent Systems, researchers from Queen Mary University of London have made significant advancements in the field of bionics with the development of a new type of electric variable-stiffness ...

Robotics

Jellyfish-like robots could one day clean up the world's oceans

Most of the world is covered in oceans, which are unfortunately highly polluted. One of the strategies to combat the mounds of waste found in these very sensitive ecosystems—especially around coral reefs—is to employ ...

Robotics

Bionic robot arms as flexible and gentle as an elephant's trunk

Artificial muscles and nerves made from the shape memory alloy nickel-titanium are making robot arms as supple and agile as their animal counterparts. But these artificial limbs also weigh less, will work tirelessly and can ...

Robotics

Resilient bug-sized robots keep flying even after wing damage

Bumblebees are clumsy fliers. It is estimated that a foraging bee bumps into a flower about once per second, which damages its wings over time. Yet despite having many tiny rips or holes in their wings, bumblebees can still ...

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Muscle

Muscle (from Latin musculus, diminutive of mus "mouse") is the contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to produce force and cause motion. Muscles can cause either locomotion of the organism itself or movement of internal organs. Cardiac and smooth muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival. Examples are the contraction of the heart and peristalsis which pushes food through the digestive system. Voluntary contraction of the skeletal muscles is used to move the body and can be finely controlled. Examples are movements of the eye, or gross movements like the quadriceps muscle of the thigh. There are two broad types of voluntary muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers contract for long periods of time but with little force while fast twitch fibers contract quickly and powerfully but fatigue very rapidly.

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