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The BEAM Bestiary is a BEAM Reference Library site.

"Muscle wire" walkers
BEAM walkers using Muscle wire

Muscle wire (Nitinol, a nickle - titanium alloy) has been used in a number of experimental robots to date. These wires shorten by 3-5% when heated to 70°C, and this contraction can be used to move limbs. Muscle wire has a number of advantages for use in actuators -- small size, light weight, a very high strength-to-weight ratio, precise control, AC or DC activation, long life, and direct linear action.

Muscle wire has seen only limited use in BEAMbots to date because of the relatively high power levels required to make it contract -- about 250-300 mA of current at 3V (this is low power for larger, "traditional," robots -- but high power for BEAMbots).

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Page author: Eric Seale
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