Keyword: Smart materials

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Applications include a smart fabric for exoskeletons, an adaptive cast that adjusts its stiffness as an injury heals, or a deployable bridge that could be unrolled and stiffened.
Briefs: Energy
The material remains effective as an energy harvester or sensor at temperatures to well above 572°F.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The piezoelectric “meta-bot” is capable of propulsion, movement, sensing, and decision-making.
Briefs: Materials

Engineers have created a highly effective way to paint complex 3D-printed objects, such as lightweight frames for aircraft and biomedical stents, that could save manufacturers time and money and provide new...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

A Penn State-led team of interdisciplinary researchers developed a polymer with robust piezoelectric effectiveness, resulting in 60 percent more efficient electricity...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
A reversible polymer changes color when it senses a material is about to fail.
Briefs: Motion Control
These materials can detect when they are damaged, take the necessary steps to temporarily heal themselves, and then resume work.
Briefs: Materials
A new study challenges the conventional approach to designing soft robotics and metamaterials by utilizing the power of computer algorithms.
Briefs: Communications
Metamaterials that manipulate microwave energy can be fabricated using low-cost inkjet printing.
Briefs: Nanotechnology
The nanothin material could advance self-powered electronics, wearable technologies, and even deliver pacemakers powered by heartbeats.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
These “living machines” hold potential for applications from medical treatments to improving the environment.
Briefs: Energy
The synthetic material is soft but can withstand heavy loading with minimum wear and tear for engineering applications.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Sensing is incorporated directly into an object’s material, with applications for assistive technology and “intelligent” furniture.
Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
The built-in nanosensors glow to alert patients when a wound is not healing properly.
Briefs: Energy
The device combines with body power to treat tendon disease and damage, and sports injuries.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
The hydrogels can morph multiple times in a preprogrammed or on-demand manner in response to external trigger signals.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
These shape memory robotic arms eliminate the need for joints, rigid skeletons, or framework.
Briefs: Materials
The eco-friendly process removes heavy metals, dyes, and other pollutants.
Briefs: Energy
The windows reduce the need for air conditioning and simultaneously generate electricity.
Q&A: Transportation

Jingcheng Ma, along with a team of researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found a way to make ultra-thin water-resistant surface coatings robust enough to...

5 Ws: Energy
The wearable device turns the touch of a finger into a source of power for small electronics and sensors.
Briefs: Imaging
The design may enable miniature zoom lenses for drones, cellphones, or night-vision goggles.
Articles: Energy
Metamaterial printing, high-efficiency solar cells, and a noise-reduction material.
Q&A: RF & Microwave Electronics

Fiorenzo Omenetto, Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering at Tufts University School of Engineering, Dean of Research, and Director of the Tufts Silklab led a team that has...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
The soft robot harvests energy from a laser beam and can crawl on horizontal surfaces and climb vertical walls and an upside-down glass ceiling.
Briefs: Materials
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of “smart” materials.
Briefs: Motion Control
SMA tube elements drive rotary and ring gear motion in compact, powerful actuators.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
A connection between electricity and mechanical motion in soft, rubber-like materials could improve robot range.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Applications include vehicle and aircraft tires, sports helmets, military equipment, and seals and couplings.