Robots with sticky feet
Jet engines can have up to 25,000 individual parts, making regular maintenance a tedious task that can take over a month per engine. Many components are located deep inside the engine and cannot be inspected without taking the machine apart, adding time and costs to maintenance. This problem is not only confined to jet engines, either; many complicated, expensive machines.
A painless adhesive for bandaids
Pulling off a Band-Aid may soon get a lot less painful. Researchers have developed a new type of adhesive that can strongly adhere wet materials -- such as hydrogel and living tissue -- and be easily detached with a specific frequency of light.
Personalized soft exosuit breaks new ground
Fully wearable soft exosuit with automatic tuning helps users save energy and walk outside over difficult terrain.
Printing with sound
Harvard University researchers have developed a new printing method that uses sound waves to generate droplets from liquids with an unprecedented range of composition and viscosity. This technique could finally enable the manufacturing of many new biopharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food and expand the possibilities of optical and conductive materials.
Soft multifunctional robots get really small
Robots could be safely deployed in difficult-to-access environments, such as in delicate surgical procedures in the human body.
Gentle robotic hand for sea life
The open ocean is the largest and least explored environment on Earth, estimated to hold up to a million species that have yet to be described. However, many of those organisms are soft-bodied - like jellyfish, squid, and octopuses - and are difficult to capture for study with existing underwater tools, which all too frequently damage or destroy them. Now, a new device safely traps delicate sea creatures inside a folding polyhedral enclosure and lets them go without harm using a novel, origami-inspired design.
Robotic cockroach can explore underwater environments
In nature, cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes. Now, a robotic cockroach can do even better. Harvard's Ambulatory Microrobot, known as HAMR, can walk on land, swim on the surface of water, and walk underwater for as long as necessary, opening up new environments for this little bot to explore.
3D printing method embeds sensing capabilities in robotic actuators
Soft robots that can sense touch, pressure, movement and temperature.
Breakthroughs seen in artificial eye and muscle technology
Inspired by the human eye, researchers have developed an adaptive metalens that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.
Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
Who needs legs? With their sleek bodies, snakes can slither up to 14 miles-per-hour, squeeze into tight space, scale trees and swim. How do they do it? It's all in the scales.
Rotational 3D printing technique yields high-performance composites
Nature has produced exquisite composite materials—wood, bone, teeth, and shells, for example—that combine light weight and density with desirable mechanical properties such as stiffness, strength and damage tolerance.
Millimeter-scale robot opens new avenues for microsurgery
The milliDelta design incorporates a composite laminate structure with embedded flexural joints that approximate the more complicated joints found in large scale Delta robots.
Molecular Robotics capitalizes on recent explosion of technologies
Collaborations between nanotechnologists, synthetic biologists, and computer scientists create nanoscale tools that could revolutionize fields from cancer diagnostics to materials science.
Artificial muscles give soft robots superpowers
Soft robotics has made leaps and bounds over the last decade as researchers around the world have experimented with different materials and designs to allow once rigid, jerky machines to bend and flex in ways that mimic and can interact more naturally with living organisms. However, increased flexibility and dexterity has a trade-off of reduced strength, as softer materials are generally not as strong or resilient as inflexible ones, which limits their use.
Soft robotic actuator for one-sided heart failure
Soft robotic actuators, which are pneumatic artificial muscles designed and programmed to perform lifelike motions, have recently emerged as an attractive alternative to more rigid components that have conventionally been used in biomedical devices. In fact, earlier this year, a Boston Children's Hospital team revealed a proof-of-concept soft robotic sleeve that could support the function of a failing heart.
Artificial pancreas performs well in clinical trial
During more than 60,000 hours of combined use of a novel artificial pancreas system, participants in a 12-week, multi-site clinical trial showed significant improvements in two key measures of well-being in people living with type 1 diabetes.
Low-cost wearables manufactured by hybrid 3D printing
A collaboration has created a new additive manufacturing technique for soft electronics, called hybrid 3D printing, that integrates soft, electrically conductive inks and matrix materials with rigid electronic components into a single, stretchable device.