We often want “muscles” in our projects.

But, servos (and motors) are large, power hungry, noisy, and rotate (rather than pull directly).

Pneumatics seem to require a bulky, power hungry, noisy pump.

Memory metal has some nice scale, but is also power hungry (and hot).

Piezo (film) seems promising, but is weak and requires high-voltage (though almost zero current).

So, I’ve been keeping an eye out for alternatives.

MEMs is the domain I’m most interested in: micro sized.

Here’s a paper on a thermo-acoustic (also a super cool technique) micro pump. One would have to fabricate it.
memspumpBio – MEMS Thermally – Actuated Micropump

There’s a commercial air-pump that’s quite small, 19mm x 19mm x 2.3mm. Might be interesting to play with.

Coiled monofilament is also interesting, very DIY

artificial-muscle artificial-muscles-easy-to-make-by-twisting-fishing-line. Good DIY instructions for that.

There’s some interesting piezo motors (in some of your phones, for mechanical focusing).

Any thing else?

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