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Tag Archives: materials

A Soft Material that Moves When Exposed to Light Could be Ideal for Robotics

When exposed to non-uniform light, the SP-BZ gel moves. This diagram shows how the material moves over time when only the ends are exposed to light. (Photo Credit: University of Pittsburgh)

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering have designed a synthetic polymer gel that can generate enough chemical energy to shape-shift and propel itself forward. The researchers modeled their research after the single-celled organism euglena mutabilis, which processes energy to expand and contract …

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Next-Gen Robotic Materials Will Autonomously Change to Suit Needs

This soft robot, developed at Correll Lab is made of an autonomous material that rolls using distributed control. (Photo credit: Correll Lab.)

Prosthetics with a realistic sense of touch. Bridges that detect and repair their own damage. Vehicles with camouflaging capabilities. Advances in materials science, distributed algorithms, and manufacturing processes are bringing all of these things closer to reality every day, says a new review written by Nikolaus …

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New Glass Could Make Longer-Lasting Batteries

A new kind of glass could double the life of Li-ion batteries. Photo courtesy of ETH Zürich/Peter Rüegg.

Chemists and materials scientists at ETH Zurich have developed a new kind of glass they say could significantly improve batteries. The research team says the new material — vanadate-borate glass — could be used as the cathode to double the life of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. “One major …

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