New Robotic Advances: “Soft” Motor/artifical muscle prototype; Mass Produced Flying Robotic Insects (w/video)

Combining the following report with our last Robotic report (2/14/12) Mask-Bot: A Robot With a Human Face and it starts to sound like its got the makings of a  great Roger Corman flick. . . . EDITOR
from Nano Patents and Innovations

New ‘Soft’ Motor Made From Artificial Muscles

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Perhaps the earliest public demonstration of an electric motor,” writes a team of researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, “involved the automatic rotation of a turkey on a spit over a fire” at a party put on by Benjamin Franklin in 1749. Franklin’s electrostatic motor was self-commutating, meaning that it was able to provide a continuous torque while it turned without requiring external electronics to control its progress.

Using artificial muscles, hyper-elastic materials that expand when a charge is applied, the New Zealand team has made a prototype for a self-commutating artificial muscle motor that does not require external electronics or hard metal parts. The researchers describe the device in a paper accepted to the American Institute of Physics’ journal Applied Physics Letters.

The team’s proof-of-concept motor is controlled with carbon-based switches whose resistances change when they are compressed, which activates artificial muscles that rotate a shaft. . . . Read Complete Report

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This gets kind of scary once you realize that, quote”The work was supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the National Science Foundation (through the Expeditions in Computing program), and the Wyss Institute.  ” Army Research Laboratory and the usual suspects involvement? .  That gets my conspiracy  mind  working overtime; tiny electronic insects . . . fit them with the injection equipment of the common mosquito   and just one of the many killer chemicals in the hands of the Controllers . . . walla!  Instant population control. . . EDITOR 

Flying Robotic Insects A New Mass-Production Technique For Electromechanical Devices

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A new technique inspired by elegant pop-up books and origami will soon allow clones of robotic insects to be mass-produced by the sheet.

Devised by engineers at Harvard, the ingenious layering and folding process enables the rapid fabrication of not just microrobots, but a broad range of electromechanical devices.

In prototypes, 18 layers of carbon fiber, Kapton (a plastic film), titanium, brass, ceramic, and adhesive sheets have been laminated together in a complex, laser-cut design. The structure incorporates flexible hinges that allow the three-dimensional product—just 2.4 millimeters tall—to assemble in one movement, like a pop-up book . . . Read complete report

from youtube

Pop-up Fabrication of the Harvard Monolithic Bee (Mobee)

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