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NASA's Invention of the Year Award Goes to Synthetic Muscles 49

coondoggie writes "It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie: technology that can act like muscle and nerves to expand and contract. The invention has been named the NASA Government Invention of the Year for 2007. 'The Macro-Fiber Composite, or MFC, is made up of ceramic fibers and can be attached to a structure to bend it, reduce vibrations and monitor force. By applying voltage to the MFC, the ceramic fibers change shape to expand or contract and turn the resulting force into a bending or twisting action on the material. MFC technology could also find its way into inflatable space structures can be used for antennas, communication satellites, space station trusses, and solar sail support structures, NASA said.'"

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department