Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New robotic arm powered by rockets

New robotic arm powered by rockets
Artificial limb is stronger and faster than commercial ones

The new rocket-powered robotic arm, shown in this diagram, is stronger and faster than the ones on the market. Here's how it works: The propellant cartridge contains pressurized liquid hydrogen peroxide, which is routed through two flexible lines (not shown) across the elbow joint and into two catalyst packs. The catalyst burns the hydrogen peroxide, generating steam that pushes pistons up and down — allowing the arm to move.

Rockets can help power robotic arms, which could help lead to "better, stronger, faster" bionic limbs, research now reveals.
A new prototype rocket-powered mechanical arm can lift about 20 to 25 pounds — three to four times more than current commercial prosthetic arms — and can do so three to four times faster.



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