Most roboticists have played with air muscles or muscle-wire and know they're less than ideal actuators for robots. Wouldn't it be nice to have something better? Say, a material with a Poisson's ratio of 15, a contraction rate of 30,000% per second, an elongation rate of 220% per second, the density of a gas, and a specific strength greater than steel. If that's not enough for you, how about if this new muscle material could expand 4,000 times faster than human muscles and could be switched on and off up to 1,000 times per second, and functioned in temperatures ranging from -196C to +1538C? Sounds impossible but these are the characteristics of a Carbon Nanotube aerogel developed by Ray Baughman and researchers at the University of Dallas NanoTech Institute. Videos and animations of the new material after the break. For more see the UTD press release, Nature article. See also the Science summary of the researcher's paper, Giant-Stroke, Superelastic Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Muscles.