Tag Archives: robots

The grand challenges of Science Robotics

One of the ambitions of Science Robotics is to deeply root robotics research in science while developing novel robotic platforms that will enable new scientific discoveries. Of our 10 grand challenges, the first 7 represent underpinning technologies that have a wider impact on all application areas of robotics. For the next two challenges, we have included social robotics and medical robotics as application-specific areas of development to highlight the substantial societal and health impacts that they will bring. Finally, the last challenge is related to responsible innovation and how ethics and security should be carefully considered as we develop the technology further.… Read the rest

Hygrobot: A self-locomotive ratcheted actuator powered by environmental humidity

Microrobots that are light and agile yet require no artificial power input can be widely used in medical, military, and industrial applications. As an actuation system to drive such robots, here we report a biologically inspired bilayer structure that harnesses the environmental humidity energy, with ratchets to rectify the motion. We named this actuator-ratchet system the hygrobot. The actuator uses a hygroscopically responsive film consisting of aligned nanofibers produced by directional electrospinning, which quickly swells and shrinks in lengthwise direction in response to the change of humidity. The ratchets based on asymmetric friction coefficients rectify oscillatory bending motion in a directional locomotion. We mathematically analyzed the mechanical response of the hygrobot, which allowed not only prediction of its performance but also the optimal design to maximize … Read the rest

The milliDelta: A high-bandwidth, high-precision, millimeter-scale Delta robot

Delta robots have been widely used in industrial contexts for pick-and-place applications because of their high precision and speed. These qualities are also desirable at the millimeter scale for applications such as vibration cancellation in microsurgery and microassembly or micromanipulation. Developing a millimeter-scale Delta robot that maintains the characteristic input-output behavior and operates with high speed and precision requires overcoming manufacturing and actuation challenges. We present the design, fabrication, and characterization of an adapted Delta robot at the millimeter scale (the “milliDelta”) that leverages printed circuit microelectromechanical system manufacturing techniques and is driven by three independently controlled piezoelectric bending actuators. We validated the design of the milliDelta, where two nonintersecting perpendicular revolute joints were used to replace an ideal universal joint. In addition, a transmission linkage … Read the rest

In vivo tissue regeneration with robotic implants

Robots that reside inside the body to restore or enhance biological function have long been a staple of science fiction. Creating such robotic implants poses challenges both in signaling between the implant and the biological host, as well as in implant design. To investigate these challenges, we created a robotic implant to perform in vivo tissue regeneration via mechanostimulation. The robot is designed to induce lengthening of tubular organs, such as the esophagus and intestines, by computer-controlled application of traction forces. Esophageal testing in swine demonstrates that the applied forces can induce cell proliferation and lengthening of the organ without a reduction in diameter, while the animal is awake, mobile, and able to eat normally. Such robots can serve as research tools for studying mechanotransduction-based signaling … Read the rest

Mobile nanotweezers for active colloidal manipulation

An important goal in nanotechnology is to control and manipulate submicrometer objects in fluidic environments, for which optical traps based on strongly localized electromagnetic fields around plasmonic nanostructures can provide a promising solution. Conventional plasmonics based trapping occurs at predefined spots on the surface of a nanopatterned substrate and is severely speed-limited by the diffusion of colloidal objects into the trapping volume. As we demonstrate, these limitations can be overcome by integrating plasmonic nanostructures with magnetically driven helical microrobots and maneuvering the resultant mobile nanotweezers (MNTs) under optical illumination. These nanotweezers can be remotely maneuvered within the bulk fluid and temporarily stamped onto the microfluidic chamber surface. The working range of these MNTs matches that of state-of-the-art plasmonic tweezers and allows selective pickup, transport, release, and … Read the rest

Peano-HASEL actuators: Muscle-mimetic, electrohydraulic transducers that linearly contract on activation

Soft robotic systems are well suited to unstructured, dynamic tasks and environments, owing to their ability to adapt and conform without damaging themselves or their surroundings. These abilities are crucial in areas such as human-robot interaction. Soft robotic systems are currently limited by the soft actuators that power them. To date, most soft actuators are based on pneumatics or shape-memory alloys, which have issues with efficiency, response speed, and portability. Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) are controlled and powered electrically and excel with muscle-like actuation, but they typically require a rigid frame and prestretch to perform effectively. In addition, DEAs require complex stacks or structures to achieve linear contraction modes. We present a class of soft electrohydraulic transducers, termed Peano-HASEL (hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic) actuators, that combine … Read the rest

This Week in Making: Star Wars Droids, Comic Con, and Deadly Paper Cuts

This Week in Making looks a Star Wars droid puppet, a makerspace in South Africa, Silicon Valley Comic Con, and murderous paper.

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The post This Week in Making: Star Wars Droids, Comic Con, and Deadly Paper Cuts appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.… Read the rest