Keyword: Smart materials

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Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A new approach has allowed researchers at Aalto University to design a kind of metamaterial that has so far been beyond the reach of existing technologies. Unlike natural materials, metamaterials and metasurfaces can be tailored to have specific electromagnetic properties, which means scientists can create materials with features desirable for industrial applications.
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5 Ws: Robotics, Automation & Control
A team of researchers at Cornell Engineering has developed a soft robot that can detect when and where it was damaged — and then heal itself on the spot.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Researchers produced a soft, mechanical metamaterial that can “think” about how forces are applied to it and respond via programmed reactions.
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Briefs: Materials
NASA has developed a new metal matrix composite (MMC) that can repair itself from large fatigue cracks that occur during the service life of a structure.
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Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
By incorporating a special type of plastic yarn and using heat to slightly melt it — a process called thermoforming — the researchers were able to greatly improve the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayered knit textiles, which they call 3DKnITS.
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Briefs: Medical
Study confirms that hydrogels work in a similar way to how humans detect pressure, paving the way for more ionic devices.
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Briefs: Materials
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.
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Briefs: Power
The material remains effective as an energy harvester or sensor at temperatures to well above 572°F.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The piezoelectric “meta-bot” is capable of propulsion, movement, sensing, and decision-making.
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Briefs: Manned Systems
A lightweight alternative to rudders for aircraft with spanwise adaptive wings.
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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...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

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

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

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...

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5 Ws: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The wearable device turns the touch of a finger into a source of power for small electronics and sensors.
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Briefs: Imaging
The design may enable miniature zoom lenses for drones, cellphones, or night-vision goggles.
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