A new article shows how toy bricks, such as LEGO blocks, are not only for children—in the hands of engineers, they can become a powerful laboratory tool for conducting sophisticated tasks.
Researchers extended the use of toy bricks in the laboratory by developing a tensile tester for stretchable and flexible electronics, which might lead to products such as foldable iPads and smartphones or integrated electronics in clothing.
"Toy bricks are simply perfect for prototyping, combining cost-effective machinery design with easy and intuitive handling and accuracy comparable to commercial testing devices," said Richard Moser, lead author of the Advanced Science study.
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Richard Moser et al. From Playroom to Lab: Tough Stretchable Electronics Analyzed with a Tabletop Tensile Tester Made from Toy-Bricks, Advanced Science (2016). DOI: 10.1002/advs.201500396