Researchers at Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science have created an artificial muscle that can transition between soft and hard states while sensing forces and deformations. The muscle mimics the flexibility and stretchability of natural muscle, making it suitable for integration into soft robotic systems. It can withstand over 200% stretch and adjust its stiffness with different voltages, achieving continuous modulation. The artificial muscle also monitors its deformation through resistance changes, eliminating the need for additional sensors and reducing costs. Potential applications include soft robotics and medical devices for rehabilitation, offering possibilities for human-machine integration and aiding individuals with disabilities. The research represents a significant advancement in the field of bionics.