cylonlover writes: A team of researchers at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research has developed a new polymer film that generates power from water vapor. Consisting of two polymer films, the material makes remarkably acrobatic somersaults in the presence of even tiny traces of evaporated water, opening the way for new types of artificial muscles for controlling robotic limbs or powering micro and nanoscopic devices. The new material is very simple in design. It consists of a 20-micrometer thick film in two layers. The first is made of polypyrrole, which is a hard polymer that provides structural support, and the second is polyol-borate, a soft gel that swells as it absorbs water. Previous efforts at developing a similar “artificial muscle” have relied on one layer, but two turned out to be a distinct improvement.
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