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.
Mimicking human organs through bioengineering
Sensera Inc is adapting its technology for new applications in bioengineering. The company's MEMS, or MicroElectroMechanical Systems, technology is now being used at Harvard University in the creation of microfluidic devices, which mimic the functions of living human organs, including the lung, intestine, kidney, skin, bone marrow and blood-brain barrier.
Personalised robotic exosuits
When it comes to soft assistive devices — like the wearable exosuit being created by the Harvard Biodesign Lab — the wearer and the robot need to be in sync. But every human moves a bit differently, and tailoring the robot's parameters to an individual user is a time-consuming and inefficient process.
3D printing method embeds sensing capabilities in robotic actuators
Soft robots that can sense touch, pressure, movement and temperature.
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.
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.
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.
Soft and stretchy fabric-based sensors for wearable robots
A team of researchers has created a highly sensitive soft capacitive sensor made of silicone and fabric that moves and flexes with the human body to unobtrusively and accurately detect movement.
Tethered soft exosuit reduces metabolic cost of running
Researchers have demonstrated that a tethered soft exosuit can reduce the metabolic cost of running on a treadmill by 5.4%.
Shedding light on how humans walk...with robots
With the recent boom of the robotic exoskeleton industry, more and more patients are being strapped into machines that apply forces to their legs as they walk, gently prodding them to modify their movements by lengthening their strides, straightening their hips, and bending their knees. But, are all patients benefiting from this kind of treatment?