/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Shape Shifting Robots

 Saw early work in Japan leading in this direction.   Notable for there human interaction. 

Shape-shifting Robots Adapt With Cleverly Designed Bodies, Grippers Robots with shape-shifting grippers and bodies that snap into different shapes can do more with less 


Robots have all kinds of ways to change their shapes, in the sense that you can use rigid components along with actuators to design a robot that can go from one shape to another. Such a system is inevitably highly complex, though, and typically requires a lot of mass plus a lot of energy to switch to and then maintain the shape that you’d like it to.

This week, we saw a couple of papers highlighting different shape-shifting robotic systems that rely on clever origami-inspired designs to rapidly change between different configurations, getting the maximum amount of usability out of the minimum amount of hardware.

The first paper, “Shape Morphing Mechanical Metamaterials Through Reversible Plasticity” from researchers at Virginia Tech and published in Science Robotics, demonstrates a composite material that’s able to transition from a flat sheet to a complex shape using a phase-change metal skeleton for switchable rigidity. The material is made of an elastomer with a pattern of cuts in it (an origami-like technique called kirigami, which uses cuts instead of folds) that determines what shape the elastomer deforms into. Sandwiched inside the elastomer sheet is a skeleton made of a metal alloy that melts at 62 °C, along with a flexible heating element. Heating the skeleton to the point where it liquifies allows the sheet to deform, and then it freezes again when the skeleton cools off and solidifies, a process that can take a few minutes. But once it’s done, it’s stable until you want to change it again.  ...'

No comments: