Microspine gripper for rock-climbing robots

  At the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in South Korea, Shiquan Wang from Stanford presented a new microspine-based palm design for rock-climbing robots. The palms use microspines that can support four times the weight of previous designs, which will be enough to turn JPL’s RoboSimian DRC robot into a champion rock climber. […]

3D printing highly conductive nanocomposites

  Carbon nanotube enabled nanocomposites have received much attention as a highly attractive alternative to conventional composite materials due to their mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier and chemical properties such as electrical conductivity, increased tensile strength, improved heat deflection temperature, or flame retardancy. In new work at the Polytechnique Montréal, researchers report the fabrication of highly […]

Biocompatible piezoelectric generator is made from fish scales

  Fish scales extracted from food waste have been used to build tiny generators that can convert mechanical energy, such as a touch or sound vibrations, to electrical energy. The work was done by physicists in India, who say that the piezoelectric device could be used to develop environmentally friendly, self-powered electronics with a wide-range […]

Stanford creates a plastic textile that dissipates heat

  Stanford scientists have developed a plastic textile that could be used to manufacture clothing, and cool people who wear it. While many breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics are available, the new nanoporous fabric, dubbed nanoPE, adds a second dimension of cooling because it uses polyethylene, which unlike other materials, allows the body’s infrared radiation to […]

Knitted nanotubes make an elastic yarn

  Researchers at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and the University of Texas at Dallas have succeeded in fabricating stretchy, electrically conductive textiles based on Spandex and carbon nanotubes. The composite yarns, which were literally knitted together, could be used to make actuators and sensors for use in applications such as artificial muscles and smart […]