0

Squishy robots from shape-shifting, self-powered material could mimic living things

NewImage

By Christine Lepisto via treehugger

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a new material that can be programmed — and energized — to move by means of light patterns shining on it.
The material combines a Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel with spirobenzopyran (SP), two remarkable materials. BZ gel oscillates (sways back and forth) when exposed to light. It the oscillation at one end of the material differs from the other, it can cause the material to move in an oozing manner. Spirobenzopyran molecules contains ring structures that change shape when exposed to light.
Together, the BZ gel and SP give scientists two mechanisms that can be manipulated to result in differing types of movement. And because the light provides the energy for the movement, no batteries nor wires are required.

NewImage

For now, the “robot” is about as appealing as an amoeba, but as one author of the study, Dr. Kuksenok, notes: “To put it simply, in order for a robot to be able to move more autonomously in a more biomimetic way, it’s better if it’s soft and squishy. It’s ability to grab and carry something isn’t impeded by non-flexible, hard edges. You’d also like its energy source incorporated into the design so that it’s not carrying that as extra baggage. The SP-BZ gel is pointing us in that direction.”

Read more


Join 4,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Learn “How Computers Work” with Bill Gates, Ladyada and more – From Code.org !

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Pololu’s New Machines

Wearables — Glue for the occasion

Electronics — Disable unused channels!

Biohacking — Two Blood Meters to Start Your Biohacking Adventure

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.