Artificial muscle for soft robotics: Low voltage, high hopes

Soft robots do a lot of things well but they're not exactly known for their speed. The artificial muscles that move soft robots, called actuators, tend to rely on hydraulics or pneumatics, which are slow to respond and difficult ...

Rethinking surface tension

(Phys.org) —If you've ever watched a drop of water form into a bead or a water strider scoot across a pond, you are familiar with a property of liquids called surface tension.

Soft grip: Pneumatic elastomers as robotic arms

(PhysOrg.com) -- It looks like a starfish made of soft plastic. When air is blown into it through a thin tube it comes to life and the starfish closes like a hand. It does this so gently that it can grasp a raw egg without ...

Sunflowers inspire more efficient solar power system

(Phys.org) -- A field of young sunflowers will slowly rotate from east to west during the course of a sunny day, each leaf seeking out as much sunlight as possible as the sun moves across the sky through an adaptation called ...

Underwater propulsion from a 3D printer

Octopods, which are also known as octopuses or squid, are considered to be the most intelligent invertebrates. In fact, they have been referred to as the "sages of the sea". They are capable of learning; they can open tin ...

Shape-programmable miniscule robots

One day, microrobots may be able to swim through the human body like sperm or paramecia to carry out medical functions in specific locations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart ...

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