Researchers at Linköping University and the University of Borås in Sweden have created what they’re calling “wearable artificial muscles” by coating fabric with electro active polymers that stretch and flex when an electric current is applied. The researchers layered the fibers in a way that increases the overall strength of the flexibility such that it can move a lightweight lever arm.
“This is early work. We’ve shown for the first time you can make textile muscles,” says Edwin Jager, associate professor at Linköping University, who studies bioelectronics and soft actuators. “Hopefully one day you can have shirts and pants.”