Wearing a flower brooch that blooms before your eyes sounds like magic. KAIST researchers have made it real with robotic muscles.
Researchers have developed an ultrathin, artificial muscle for soft robotics. The advancement, recently reported in the journal Science Robotics, was demonstrated with a robotic blooming flower brooch, dancing robotic butterflies and fluttering tree leaves on a kinetic art piece.
The robotic equivalent of a muscle that can move is called an actuator. The actuator expands, contracts or rotates like muscle fibers using a stimulus such as electricity. Engineers around the world are striving to develop more dynamic actuators that respond quickly, can bend without breaking, and are very durable. Soft, robotic muscles could have a wide variety of applications, from wearable electronics to advanced prosthetics.
The team from KAIST’s Creative Research Initiative Center for Functionally Antagonistic Nano-Engineering developed a very thin, responsive, flexible and durable artificial muscle. The actuator looks like a skinny strip of paper about an inch long. They used a particular type of material called MXene, which is class of compounds that have layers only a few atoms thick.
Their chosen MXene material (T3C2Tx) is made of thin layers of titanium and carbon compounds. It was not flexible by itself; sheets of material would flake off the actuator when bent in a loop. That changed when the MXene was “ionically cross-linked” — connected through an ionic bond — to a synthetic polymer. The combination of materials made the actuator flexible, while still maintaining strength and conductivity, which is critical for movements driven by electricity.
Their particular combination performed better than others reported. Their actuator responded very quickly to low voltage, and lasted for more than five hours moving continuously.
To prove the tiny robotic muscle works, the team incorporated the actuator into wearable art: an origami-inspired brooch mimics how a narcissus flower unfolds its petals when a small amount of electricity is applied. They also designed robotic butterflies that move their wings up and down, and made the leaves of a tree sculpture flutter.
“Wearable robotics and kinetic art demonstrate how robotic muscles can have fun and beautiful applications,” said Il-Kwon Oh, lead paper author and professor of mechanical engineering. “It also shows the enormous potential for small, artificial muscles for a variety of uses, such as haptic feedback systems and active biomedical devices.”
The team next plans to investigate more practical applications of MXene-based soft actuators and other engineering applications of MXene 2D nanomaterials.
Learn more: Artificial Muscles Bloom, Dance, and Wave
The Latest on: Soft robotics
[google_news title=”” keyword=”soft robotics” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Soft robotics
- An inchworm-inspired robot with enhanced transport capabilitieson February 23, 2024 at 6:07 am
Soft robots inspired by animals can help to tackle real-world problems in efficient and innovative ways. Roboticists have been working to continuously broaden and improve these robots' capabilities, ...
- Researchers Develop Light-Responsive Material for Soft Robotson February 19, 2024 at 8:43 am
Researchers have designed a new, 3D-printable, light-responsive material that can be used to make machines that move without any electronics.
- This edible, wriggling robot mimics experience of eating moving foodon February 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm
Diners pop these still-living creatures into their mouths, as the wriggling is part of the overall meal experience. To potentially better understand the psychology and emotional responses associated ...
- NTU develops thinner-than-hair stretchable tech to mind-control robotson February 15, 2024 at 3:27 am
Researchers at NTU have combined flexible electronics with softer platforms like hydrogels to deliver soft electronics that can bend and stretch.
- Tompkins Solutions, Soft Robotics team up with grasping techon February 14, 2024 at 4:02 pm
Tompkins Solutions will be able to integrate Soft Robotics’ mGripAI grasping technology to logistics operations under a partnership between the two companies. This is a news story by the ...
- Soft robot fingers that can carefully squeeze without sensorson February 13, 2024 at 6:32 am
With a brief squeeze, you know whether an avocado, peach or tomato is ripe. This is what a soft robot hand also does, for example, during automated harvesting. However, up until now, such a gripper ...
- How Ancient Sea Creatures can Inform Soft Robotics (IMAGE)on February 10, 2024 at 5:49 am
Rendering of pleurocystitid (left) next to the soft robot they modeled after the ancient sea creature. Image courtesy of Richard Desatnik.
- An Ancient Stingray Lookalike Inspires Underwater Soft Roboticson February 10, 2024 at 5:30 am
Classified as a pleurocystitid, the animal resembled an armored stingray in its appearance, armed with what looked like a set of swooping antennae. One of the first of its phylum to move around ...
- How ancient sea creatures can inform soft roboticson February 10, 2024 at 5:00 am
Soft robotics is the study of creating robots from soft materials, which has the advantage of flexibility and safety in human interactions. These robots are well-suited for applications ranging from ...
- A sea creature extinct for half a billion years inspired a new soft roboton February 10, 2024 at 5:00 am
Pleurocystitids arrived in the oceans alongside jellyfish. Although long gone, they may help guide the future of 'paleobionics.' ...
via Bing News