31 Aug 2020
Cutting Surgical Robots Down to Size
Recently, surgical robots have started to appear in operating rooms to further assist surgeons by allowing them to manipulate multiple tools at once with greater precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with traditional techniques. However, these robotic systems are extremely large, often taking up an entire room, and their tools can be much larger than the delicate tissues and structures on which they operate.
27 May 2020
Soft Robotic Exosuit for Stroke Survivors
To allow stroke patients to recover, many rehabilitation centers have looked to robotic exoskeletons. But although there are now a range of exciting devices that are enabling people to walk again who initially were utterly unable to do so, there remains significant active research trying to understand how to best apply wearable robotics for rehabilitation after stroke.
6 Mar 2020
Soft Robotic Fingers Gently Grasp Deep-Sea Jellyfish
Marine biologists have adopted "soft robotic linguine fingers" as tools to conduct their undersea research. Scientists found that jellyfish held by ultra-soft robotic fingers expressed significantly fewer stress-related genes than when braced by traditional submersible grippers. Shaped like the famous noodles, this new robotic technology allows for the collection of ecological data in a gentler, less invasive manner.
29 Jan 2020
Printing Objects That Can Incorporate Living Organisms
A method for printing 3D objects that can control living organisms in predictable ways has been developed. The technique may lead to 3D printing of biomedical tools, such as customized braces, that incorporate living cells to produce therapeutic compunds such as painkillers or topical treatments, the researchers say.
18 Dec 2019
Chiton Mollusk Provides Model for New Armor Design
The motivations for using biology as inspiration to engineering vary based on the project, but the combination of flexibility and protection seen in the chiton mollusk was all the motivation necessary.
14 Nov 2019
Multimaterial 3D Printing Manufactures Complex Objects, Fast
A new technique called multimaterial multinozzle 3D printing uses high-speed pressure valves to achieve rapid, continuous, and seamless switching between up to eight different printing materials, enabling the creation of complex shapes in a fraction of the time currently required using printheads that range from a single nozzle to large multinozzle arrays.
11 Nov 2019
First in Flight: RoboBee Powered by Soft Muscles
Researchers have developed a resilient RoboBee powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into walls, fall onto the floor, and collide with other RoboBees without being damaged. It is the first microrobot powered by soft actuators to achieve controlled flight.
10 Sep 2019
A swifter way towards 3D-printed organs
Sacrificial ink-writing technique allows 3D printing of large, vascularized human organ building blocks.
9 Sep 2019
Using CRISPR to program gels with new functions
The CRISPR genome-editing system is best-known for its potential to correct disease-causing mutations and add new genes into living cells. Now, researchers have deployed CRISPR for a completely different purpose: creating novel materials, such as gels, that can change their properties when they encounter specific DNA sequences.
26 Aug 2019
Self-folding "Rollbot" paves the way for fully untethered soft robots
The majority of soft robots today rely on external power and control, keeping them tethered to off-board systems or rigged with hard components. Now, researchers have developed soft robotic systems, inspired by origami, that can move and change shape in response to external stimuli, paving the way for fully untethered soft robots.
21 Aug 2019
Exosuit shows potential for wearable robots
Researchers have previously developed robotic devices for rehabilitation and other areas of life that can either assist walking or running, but no untethered portable device could efficiently do both.
29 May 2019
Machine learning could make antibiotics more effective
Most antibiotics work by interfering with critical functions such as DNA replication or construction of the bacterial cell wall. However, these mechanisms represent only part of the full picture of how antibiotics act.
10 Apr 2019
Robot autonomously builds erosion barriers
Along developed riverbanks, physical barriers can help contain flooding and combat erosion. In arid regions, check dams can help retain soil after rainfall and restore damaged landscapes.
4 Feb 2019
A safe, wearable soft sensor
Children born prematurely often develop neuromotor and cognitive developmental disabilities. The best way to reduce the impacts of those disabilities is to catch them early through a series of cognitive and motor tests. But accurately measuring and recording the motor functions of small children is tricky.
1 Jan 2019
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.
21 Dec 2018
Predicting leaky heart valves with 3D printing
Researchers have created a novel 3D printing workflow that allows cardiologists to evaluate how different valve sizes will interact with each patient's unique anatomy, before the medical procedure is actually performed.
24 Sep 2018
Personalized soft exosuit breaks new ground
Fully wearable soft exosuit with automatic tuning helps users save energy and walk outside over difficult terrain.
11 Sep 2018
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.
14 Aug 2018
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.
2 Aug 2018
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.