Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read


Creating Artificial Muscles More Powerful Than Anything In Nature

By observing the inner workings of an octopus's leg or an elephant's trunk, scientists have created muscles from carbon nanotubes that could one day power machines.

"Nature has been developing her technologies for many hundreds of millions of years," said Ray Baughman. "By looking at the way in which nature has solved problems like muscles, we can advance our own technologies."  Baughman is Director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. His lab creates very tiny artificial muscles by spinning filaments of invisibly small carbon nanotubes into an extraordinary yarn.  Pound per pound, this nano-yarn is stronger than steel, yet is so light it almost floats in air.