Most of the existing soft robots are actuated using a pneumatic device that regulates the flow of air. New technology allows you to control the size of the robot due to heating and cooling smart materials that can change their shape.
U.S. researchers announced the creation of intelligent heat-activated tissue (STAT) able to inflate and return to normal depending on the temperature inside the steam.
Characteristic features of the development
The main breakthrough is that today, the fabric can be produced in large quantities. It is carried out in a tightly closed package using a commercially available textile membrane coated with a layer of thermoplastic polyurethane. Inside STAT is a maintenance fluid called NOVEC 7000, a well-known fact that it is able to evaporate under the influence of heat and to expand its volume up to 100 times. This allows the robot to increase and decrease the internal pressure in wide range. The device can generate a peak pressure of approximately 75 kPa at room temperature.
Video demonstrates the development in the work
According to the developers, first and foremost, the fabric can be spread in rehabilitation therapy, as well as protection when you perform components of danger to life tasks. For example, flexible and lightweight robots on a textile backing can support the muscles, contributing to the early elimination of injuries.
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