Polymer makes possible the self-regeneration of robots
The era of robots is coming, and more and more new, more impressive models are introduced to the public by who creates them. As well as the artificial intelligence technologies are advancing at great strides, an essential part of the constitution of these devices has been gaining more space in the research.
These are the materials that will make up the structure of a robot, which can be a determining factor for the device’s function and its success as an intelligent machine. Throughout the world, teams of scientists work on the development of flexible materials to make robots less rigid and allow them to interact with other objects more organically.
Inorganic curing factor
A group of researchers at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium has developed a polymer that is not only soft and flexible but is also capable of regenerating itself. For this, simply apply heat in the region that has been damaged for the polymer to redo.
In the video released by the university, a flexible robotic hand is cut with a stylus and can be seen “cicatrization” the opening when receiving an increase of temperature, reaching 80 degrees Celsius. This type of device is perfect for applications where you have to deal with delicate objects that could be damaged by rigid parts or even in actions of search and rescue of animals or people in places of difficult access.
The next step, now, is to develop a way for this process to be truly autonomous, that is, to make the robot itself know how, when and where to apply heat to regenerate itself. For now, this part of the process still needs human interference to happen.
Sources: NEW SCIENTIST