Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects
While engineers have had success building tiny, insect-like robots, programming them to behave autonomously like real insects continues to present technical challenges.
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.
Synthetic circuits can harvest light energy
Novel structures made with DNA scaffolds could be used to create solar-powered materials.
Hybrid 3-D printing method for flexible electronics
A collaboration between scientists has resulted in a new method for digital design and printing of stretchable, flexible electronics. The process, called Hybrid 3-D printing, uses additive manufacturing to integrate soft, conductive inks with a material substrate to create stretchable, wearable electronic devices.
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.
Colour changing tattoos monitor health
Researchers have developed smart tattoo ink capable of monitoring health by changing color to tell an athlete if they are dehydrated or diabetic.
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.
Robotic system monitors specific neurons
Recording electrical signals from inside a neuron in the living brain can reveal a great deal of information about that neuron's function and how it coordinates with other cells in the brain.
Harvesting the microbiome of athletes
Scientists have now tapped into the microbiome of exceptional runners and rowers, and have identified particular bacteria that may aid athletic performance.
Researchers develop tough, self-healing rubber
Researchers have developed a new type of rubber that is as tough as natural rubber but can also self-heal.
Using ultrasound to trigger on-demand, site-specific pain relief
A novel system uses ultrasound to trigger the release of nerve-blocking agents — injected into specific sites of the body ahead of time — when and where pain relief is needed most.
Building the safe genes toolkit
DARPA created the Safe Genes program to gain a fundamental understanding of how gene editing technologies function; devise means to safely, responsibly, and predictably harness them for beneficial ends; and address potential health and security concerns related to their accidental or intentional misuse.
How CRISPR proteins find their target
Researchers have discovered how Cas1-Cas2, the proteins responsible for the ability of the CRISPR immune system in bacteria to adapt to new viral infections, identify the site in the genome where they insert viral DNA so they can recognize it later and mount an attack.