Origami Robots are the need of the hour. A team of NUS researchers has recently developed a novel method of creating new metal-based material for use in flexible robots.
If the researchers are to be believed, they have experimented on different conductive materials and then finally settled on this unique combination that helps to achieve optimal strain sensing and wireless communication.
They are actually the state of the art soft and flexible metallic material being used for various practices including drug delivery in human bodies, sent on rescue missions in the disaster environment and humanoid robotic arms.
These are the reasons why these robots are intended to be flexible and are often made of soft material like rubber, paper or even plastic. Sensors and electric components are added on top for better performance.
The new material is this robot is a combination of metals like platinum with burnt paper which is potent enough to maintain the foldability and light weight of plastic and paper.
These features make the robot more power-efficient and effective when implemented for the desired use.
The characteristic features of such lightweight robots make them work with 30% less energy consumption and 60% increased efficiency.
Furthermore, the new material is also fire resistant making it potent to work in harsh environmental conditions which can withstand the heat at 800 degrees Celsius for up to 5 minutes. Adding to its features is the geothermal heating capability which can keep the robot from getting freeze when working in cold temperatures.
Taking the next step of their research, the scientists are now looking to add more functions to the metallic backbone of these robots. The very first promising direction towards this step is to incorporate electrochemically active materials. This further ad up to energy consumption hence, benefiting the self-powered robots.
These robots are built in a way that they can safely function in a high risk environment like chemical labs and fire disasters.