Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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NanoMuscle Engine

Electric Car Engine
  [vote for,

In my passing on the web I found a manufacturer of small electric muscles. The largest model they have designed is no larger than a paperclip and exerts 125 grams for force.

Now imagine a large drum mounted on a shaft inside a cylinder. The drums surface has small ridges that run the length lets say ever 1/2 inch. Then on the inside of the cylinder wall is long lines of literally hundreds of nanomuscles. Each string of nanomuscles works together to pull the drum to cause just a fraction of a rotation. Once the pull is complete the nanomuscle returns to it's original position effectively unlatching from the ridge in the drum and advancing to the next. Perform this pulling action repeatedly (return speed of the muscle might be a factor) and you have a high torquey, fully electric source of motion.

jiGGaK, Jan 07 2004

(?) Nano Muscle http://www.nanomuscle.com
This service is free of charge [Letsbuildafort, Oct 04 2004]


       Perhaps for smaller applications, but it would be rather expensive to rig a car with this. Oh, and welcome, [jiGGak]. The 'link' button there on your left will help you link your ideas so you don't have to put it in the body of your idea. The 'help' file can answer some questions on features as well ...
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       I can't imagine using such device for propulsion - the power available from the "muscles" would be far too low. But as a design for a stepper motor, I think this has some real potential. It would have lots of applications in things like valves and fine-point positioning devices. Basically, any industrial device that requires electric motors for positioning working heads could use a device like this.
blorg, Jan 07 2004

       get your own catch phrases LBaF <grin>
po, Jan 07 2004

       Sorry, po, I'm STRIVING to be like my heroes ...
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       hey, you are a hero in your own right, especially in those shoes!
po, Jan 07 2004

       I am not yet convinced, notwithstanding the colourful free of charge link from [lbaf]. What are these muscles made of and how do they attach to anything?
By the way, I am no (real) scientist but what does '125g of force' really mean?
gnomethang, Jan 07 2004

       You should see the article in the issue of scientific american that talks about artificial muscles.
empty89, Jan 07 2004

       A nice idea, don't get me wrong, but powering cars, planes, robots, etc. with nanomuscles is widely discused by many people. Not very original.
thelambs, Jan 07 2004

       But powering bowling-lane waxing machines isn't.
Letsbuildafort, Jan 07 2004

       //By the way, I am no (real) scientist but what does '125g of force' really mean?//   

       It means nothing. Force is measured in Newtons, not grams. Gram is a measure of mass.
GenYus, Jan 08 2004

       Thanks, [Gen]. That's what I thought.
gnomethang, Jan 08 2004

       So I could get a nanomuscle car?
DrCurry, Jan 08 2004

       Nanomuscle micromachine. Wonderful!
Letsbuildafort, Jan 08 2004

       The brochure(s) in the link indicate a cycle time of around 0.3s - 0.5s. Too slow, I would think.
xrayTed, Jan 08 2004

       No way, won't work. I actually built a prototype toy creature with these exact nano muscles (and I got to meet the creators- really smart bunch of engineers and such), and they are too delicate and weak (the nano muscles, not the creators). The slightest tweak of the end, and it is toast. Also, to get it to return, you either have to use an opposing nano muscle, just like a real muscle, or pull against a spring, reducing the force available for motion. These muscles use nitinol wire (shape memory alloy) to activate a series of sliding plates, so you have a HUGE waste of energy heating up the wire with elec. current. Waiting for the wires to cool causes the long cycle times. I think the 125 g is the weight a muscle will pull straight up, but using them at max capacity greatly slows down the action.
oxen crossing, Jan 10 2004


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