WATCH THIS: Japanese scientists are developing synthetic muscles for future androids

For the past few decades, us humans have been obsessed with making robots in our own image. First there was voice communication, then there was AI – and now we’re making synthetic muscles for robots. I say we, but I mean a team of researchers at the Suzumori Endo Robotics Laboratory at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Rather than using servos and motors, the Japanese experiment uses bundles of fibre that contract and expand – just like the ones in humans. The robot’s legs have the same amount of muscles as a human leg, but that doesn’t mean the Suzumori Endo humanoid can walk on its own just yet. Unlike human muscle contractions that can take split seconds, the humanoid robots are too slow to self-balance right now. What a shame. 

So, what’s it for? Apart from creating a murderous race of androids – or factory workers that later turn out to be murderous – the technology could eventually be used in prosthetics.

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