Mecha Discussion: Myomer from Battletech – Is it realistic?

Welcome to another “Crazy tech in mechas that are possible in real life?” discussion. Last time we took a look at one of the most absurd technology in mecha: Getter Rays. So now we’re taking a look at another technology that aren’t as over-the-top as that. And furthermore, we’re taking a look at a mecha franchise originated from across Japan, in the land of the Walkers: Battletech.

Myomers are artificial muscles which are more powerful than biological muscles. They are activated by electrical currents, and as such, can be used to perform various functions depending on the controller. They require high amounts of voltage to function, and possess high electrical resistance. As such, they cannot be stunned or interrupted by application of external electric shocks. The downside of this is that they generate high amounts of heat, making heatsinks compulsory with heatsink systems weighing in tons.

From the SARNA wiki, it says that “Myomer is composed of microscopic polyacetylene tubes filled with an acti-strandular fiber. These fibers are created by mixing biologically engineered bacteria with specific polymers within the tubes. An electric current is sent through these tubes, causing the fibers to arrange themselves into a complex nano-structure similar to the proteins myosin and actin that allow biological muscles their movement.”. This means a significant application of biotechnology is involved in the making of Myomers, making it not purely a Materials Science or Mechanical/Electrical Engineering-centered technology.

Battlemechs in the Battletech universe uses myomers as motive systems for all their battlemechs. From the lightweight Flea to the gigantic, 100-tonnage Atlas, all use myomers to move through the battlefield. The larger the mechs, more complex systems of myomer are utilized, along with higher heat generated the larger and heavier the mechs be. Taking into account additional heat generated by firing the weapons, a skilled mechwarrior is required to not only be a good marksman or pilot, but also be good in heat management. Mechs can shut down if they generate too much heat, and it is unwise to just shoot without paying attention to heat.

Neutrinos energy can be harnessed from solar radiation

In real-life, the development of artificial muscle systems seems to be progressing at a fast rate, with promising applications in larger-scale, biofidelic (similar to real-life creatures) systems, or microsystem-level (mircosurgery/microscopic robots) applications pursued by researchers of various universities. As an example for the first one, postdoctoral scientists from MIT, Mehmet Kanik and graduate Sima Orduc have combined two different polymers into a single strand of fiber which is extremely lightweight and can respond very quickly to stimuli and to control inputs. For smaller-scale applications, Mayue Shi and Eric M. Yeatman in a scientific journal published in Nature are making a comparative study on different types of artificial muscles for various  microsystem applications, namely, microswimmers, microsurgery, micro flying robots, and so on, with various promising mechanisms for each type of micro-robots: ranging from hydraulic-driven artificial muscles, magnetic, pneumatic, ionic-polymer metal composites (IPMC), etc.This article analyzes operational requirements for each type of micro-robots and what type of artificial muscle is most suitable for each type.

The versatile applications in scale for real-life artificial muscles are breathtaking, and let’s hope it will be used for peaceful purposes.

Link 1:

Link 2:


Kanik, Mehmet. Et. al. (2019) Strain-programmable fiber-based artificial muscle. Science Magazine. P.145-150.
DOI 10.1126/science.aaw2502

Shi, Mayue. Yeatman,M. Eric. (2021) A comparative review of artificial muscles for microsystem applications. Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering Journal.


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