How to program muscle wire

We love smart materials and especially “Muscle wire” also called memory wire. Usually made from nickel and titanium, these wires are very durable and remembers their preprogrammed shape! Bend it, twist it, deform it in any way and when it is heated up, it automatically returns to it´s predesigned shape. This can be used to make active springs and even tiny muscles that moves when heated up by an electric current. So if you need a completely silent and lightweight alternative to motors and actuators, you should consider using muscle wires. There are a lot of videos out there that demonstrates how they can be used for robotics and more, but how do you program the wires shape? Well we finally found this excellent tutorial from RimstarOrg where this procedure is explained in detail. Now you can design your own smart actuators to fill whatever need you may have! What project can you imagine making with this smart material?

How shape memory alloys moves when heated

“Smart materials” such as memory metals are really fascinating, and their full potential is far from known. In this video, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale Dr. Ainissa Ramirez shows us how memory metals change phase and shapes with heat, and why this is so useful for robotics such as the Mars Rover and even in medicine. A must watch for anyone interested in making robots or health related inventions.

This is one of many interesting videos in a series called “Material Marvels” that you can watch on Yale University’s YouTube channel.