New technology has biomedical, soft robot and other applications
Rutgers University–New Brunswick engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that walks underwater and grabs objects and moves them.
The watery creation could lead to soft robots that mimic sea animals like the octopus, which can walk underwater and bump into things without damaging them. It may also lead to artificial heart, stomach and other muscles, along with devices for diagnosing diseases, detecting and delivering drugs and performing underwater inspections.
Soft materials like the smart gel are flexible, often cheaper to manufacture than hard materials and can be miniaturized. Devices made of soft materials typically are simple to design and control compared with mechanically more complex hard devices.
“Our 3D-printed smart gel has great potential in biomedical engineering because it resembles tissues in the human body that also contain lots of water and are very soft,” said Howon Lee, senior author of a new study and an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “It can be used for many different types of underwater devices that mimic aquatic life like the octopus.”
The study, published online today in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, focuses on a 3D-printed hydrogel that moves and changes shape when activated by electricity. Hydrogels, which stay solid despite their 70-plus percent water content, are found in the human body, diapers, contact lenses, Jell-O and many other things.
YouTube video by Daehoon Han/Rutgers University–New Brunswick
During the 3D-printing process, light is projected on a light-sensitive solution that becomes a gel. The hydrogel is placed in a salty water solution (or electrolyte) and two thin wires apply electricity to trigger motion: walking forward, reversing course and grabbing and moving objects, said Lee. The human-like walker that the team created is about one inch tall.
The speed of the smart gel’s movement is controlled by changing its dimensions (thin is faster than thick), and the gel bends or changes shape depending on the strength of the salty water solution and electric field. The gel resembles muscles that contract because it’s made of soft material, has more than 70 percent water and responds to electrical stimulation, Lee said.
“This study demonstrates how our 3D-printing technique can expand the design, size and versatility of this smart gel,” he said. “Our microscale 3D-printing technique allowed us to create unprecedented motions.”
The Latest on: Soft Robotics
via Google News
The Latest on: Soft Robotics
- Soft Robotics Market In 2022 : Industry Growth, Top Players, Segmentation and Forecast to 2028 with Top Countries Dataon August 1, 2022 at 4:52 pm
Aug 01, 2022 (The Expresswire) -- "Soft Robotics Market" Insights 2022 By Types, Applications, Regions and Forecast to 2028. The global Soft Robotics ...
- Self-repairing fish robot brings hope to plastic crisison July 28, 2022 at 6:45 pm
Chinese scientists have developed a fish-shaped light-actuated swimming robot that can "eat" microplastics in water bodies and repair itself if damaged. This ...
- A new type of soft robotic actuator that can be scaled down to just one centimeteron July 28, 2022 at 7:26 am
A team of researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia's Bioinspired Soft Robotics Laboratory has developed a new pleat-based soft robotic actuator that can be used in a variety of sizes, down to ...
- Scientists created ‘zombie’ spiders — and people are freaking out: ‘So f–ked up’on July 26, 2022 at 1:23 pm
Texas scientists have developed veritable spider robots by robotically manipulating dead arachnids so they can grasp objects with their legs, as seen in a spine-tingling video. “It happens to be the ...
- How elephant's flexible trunk can improve robotson July 25, 2022 at 3:59 am
According to a recent study, an elephant’s folded skin plays a significant part in stretching its trunk besides its muscles. The findings could improve robotics, which today are typically built for ...
- Engineers Give Soft Robots a Hearton July 23, 2022 at 11:19 am
A collaborative team of researchers from Cornell and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory has used hydrodynamic and magnetic forces to drive a rubbery and deformable pump that provides soft robots with a ...
- Elephant biomechanics suggests new approach for soft roboticson July 22, 2022 at 11:12 am
A new study suggests that an elephant muscles arent the only way it stretches its trunk its folded skin also plays an important role The combination of mus ...
- Deformable pump gives soft robots a hearton July 14, 2022 at 5:01 pm
And for soft robots, the electronically powered pumps that function as their "hearts" are so bulky and rigid, they must be decoupled from the robot's body -- a separation that can leak energy and ...
- A deformable pump gives soft robots a 'heart' to mimic the biology of animalson July 14, 2022 at 1:44 pm
The Tin Man didn't have one. The Grinch's was three sizes too small. And for soft robots, the electronically powered pumps that function as their "hearts" are so bulky and rigid, they must be ...
via Bing News