The Wyss Institute at Harvard University

The Wyss Institute at Harvard University

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The Wyss Institute at Harvard University
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.
9 Jul 2018

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.