Spider Web Silk for Robotics and Aviation.
Spiders are the future and they can be used to build robotic muscles.
We all know about those pesky spider webs but ever wonder how those thin plastic like material has the ability to hold a spiders weight? Turns out, the spider web has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.
If you check out the list above, balsa wood and spider silk has a higher strength-to weight-ratio than titanium. Isn’t that crazy?
Anyway, scientist have found out that spider silk reacts to changes in humidity.
Here's a link to the study.
According to the research, the spider silk fiber contracts (believed to be a form of defense mechanism) when humidity is increased. The contracting and twisting of the fibers give it an even stronger torsional-moment strength.
The spider silk can also be very precise when it comes to controlling actuators in robotics.
BTW check out this robot weaving artificial spider webs in a MIT lab.
Ok back to the spider robot muscles.
Scientist researching the spider silk project say there could be tremendous amount of potential applications from the discoveries of such technology. Potential applications like soft robots and smart textiles can benefit from such technologies.
In aviation, Airbus has partnered with AMSilk to build airplanes out of a synthetic spider silk which will bring a big fuel savings for the airlines because the aircraft are much lighter.
We are living in exciting times.