By user9157252 on Feb 04, 2008
So I've been thinking about this stuff for a long time. Servos are all well and good, but I really think that Muscle Wire is way too cool not to play with. Also called Shape Memory Alloy it is basically a wire that, when heated, either externally or by running a current through it, changes its shape.
Much like when your muscles contract, a muscle wire shortens when heated. Not much, typically 3% - 5%, but that's enough to get some motion. Individually, they are not very strong, either, but then again, neither are individual muscle cells, or even small strands of muscle fiber. String them together in bundles, and you have something that can be very strong.
So I really want to try hooking some up to a Sun SPOT and seeing what I can do with it. The prices are coming down, so maybe I can find some cheap enough that I can experiment with them.
I've seen some rather simplistic videos on YouTube of folks doing some very simple things with Muscle Wires, but I think there is great potential for more.