An artificial muscle that twists into action as soon as it’s exposed to light—yet another application of carbon nanotubes. Researchers infused carbon nanotubes with wax and twisted them into yarn. When a light, or electrical heating, switches on, the wax warms up and expands, which increases the volume of the yarn and forces its length to contract. The fast contraction can lift objects 50,000 times heavier than the yarn itself!
Check out the muscles in action in this video from the University of Texas at Dallas. The full paper is published in the journal Science.