Envision applications in manufacturing, medicine and space
A Case Western Reserve University researcher has turned the origami she enjoyed as a child into a patent-pending soft robot that may one day be used on an assembly line, in surgery or even outer space.
Kiju Lee, the Nord Distinguished Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and her lab have moved from paper robots to 3-D-printed models that bend, contract, extend and twist. This novel mechanism is called TWISTER (TWISted TowEr Robot).
TWISTER was inspired by an origami twisted tower originally designed by Japanese artist Mihoko Tachibana, which uses multiple origami segments to form a tower structure. This origami design was then reinvented for various potential applications in robotics and manufacturing.
In her earlier work using paper-folded structures, Lee's team added three small versions of the towers to one end of the larger tower and manipulated them to grasp like three opposing fingers. While picking up and moving eggs and ripe fruit, Lee's team found that when excessive force was applied, the fingers absorbed the extra force by distributing it and deforming.
That quality, the researchers say, demonstrates the design's potential for manipulating all kinds of fragile objects without requiring force-based sensing and interacting with humans, without safety concerns.
Recently, Lee successfully converted the TWISTER designs into 3-D printable models. This work enabled fabrication of complex origami-inspired designs via 3-D printing.
"Among the possibilities for this robot are fragile-object manipulation and direct human-robot interaction, because these robots are soft and safe," said Lee, who will present her latest study at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver today (Sept. 27).
"TWISTER is very different from rigid body robots," she said.
TWISTER is made from multiple layers of regular polygons--triangles, hexagons or octagons, forming a tube-like shape of a tower.
Lee used cable-based actuation to control the robot, while different approaches, such as using Shape-Memory-Alloys, are also being explored. The motions can make a tower lying on its side crawl.
For safety reasons, hard-bodied robots are typically separated from people in manufacturing processes, Lee said. "Because this robot can be made with soft materials," she said, "it could be safe to use on an assembly line right next to people."
Lee and physicians have also been discussing ways to miniaturize the robot to insert in the body for minimally invasive surgeries.
"Laproscopic surgery often requires some rigid pieces, and movement to control them from the outside causes stress on the tissues," Lee said.
She's also been exploring space robotic applications, particularly for a space arm.
"To put anything into space, volume and weight are critical, because of the cost of rocket transport," Lee said. "This robot is fully collapsible and, compared to a rigid arm, light and compact."
Current and former undergraduate researchers Yanzhou Wang and Evan Vander Hoff, and PhD students Donghwa Jeong and Tao Liu contributed to this project.
Here is a video link: http://case.
Bill Lubinger | EurekAlert!
Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes
19.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
Intelligent components for the power grid of the future
18.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News