Origami robots are state-of-the-art soft and flexible robots that are being examined to be used in varied applications, including drug delivery in human bodies, search and rescue missions in disaster environments and humanoid robotic arms.
As a result of these robots must be flexible, they’re usually comprised of soft materials corresponding to paper, plastic, and rubber. To be practical, sensors and electrical elements are sometimes added on high; however, these add bulk to the devices. Now, a staff of NUS researchers has developed a novel method of making a new metal-based, mostly materials to be used in these soft robots.
Combining metals like platinum with burnt paper that is ash, the brand new materials have enhanced capabilities, whereas maintaining the foldability and light-weight options of conventional paper and plastic. The truth is, the new materials are half as light as paper, which additionally makes it extra energy efficient.
These characteristics make this material a powerful candidate for making flexible and light prosthetic limbs, which may be as a lot as 60 % lighter than their typical counterparts. Such prosthetics can present actual-time strain sensing to give suggestions on how a lot they’re flexing, giving users finer management and immediate data—all without the necessity for exterior sensors, which might, in any other case, add undesirable weight to the prosthetic.
Within the next steps of their analysis, Asst Prof Chen and his group are taking a look at adding more functions to the metallic backbone. One promising path is to include electrochemically active materials to fabricate energy storage devices such that the material itself is its personal battery, permitting for the creation of self-powered robots. The team can be experimenting with different metals like copper, which can lower the price of the material’s production.