• National Taiwan University researchers’ original goal was to use onion cells to develop an engineered microstructure in artificial muscles for increasing the amount a muscle can bend or stretch when triggered.
  • The team made the top and bottom electrodes a different thickness so that the cell stiffness became asymmetric from top to bottom. This gave the researchers control over the muscle’s response so that a low voltage made them expand and flex downward, toward the thicker bottom layer. A high voltage caused the cells to contract and flex upward, toward the thinner top layer.
  • The researchers hope to increase the lifting power of their artificial muscles so they can move heavier items. The next step is to reduce the driving voltage and the force needed to put the artificial muscles in motion. 

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