MIT researchers have found a property of spider silk that could make it a useful for the development of artificial, robotic muscle. Spider silk is already considered one of strongest materials for its weight, and it was discovered to respond strongly to changes in humidity while exhibiting humidity-induced torsional behavior. What does this mean? Once a certain level of relative humidity is in the air, spider silk contracts and twists, exerting enough force to possibly even one day make robotic actuators. Read more for a video about synthetic spider silk and additional information.
“A weight was suspended from a silk strand enclosed within a chamber. The scientists could control the humidity level inside the chamber. When the humidity in the chamber increased, the weight started to rotate. The researchers say the finding could eventually lead to the development of humidity-driven soft robots, smart textiles, novel sensors, or green energy production devices,” according to Market Business News.