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Current issue

ELEKTRO 2/2019 was released on February 13th 2019. Its digital version will be available on March 11th 2019.

Topic: Electrical appliances – switching, protective, signalling and special

Main Article
Advanced power converter topology
Smart Cities (part 7)

SVĚTLO (Light) 1/2019 was released on February 4th 2019. Its digital version will be available on March 5th 2019.

Fairs and exhibitions
Invitation at LIGHT IN ARCHITECTURE exhibition
Prolight + Sound 2019: keep up with time
The light at For Arch 2018 fair

Public lighting
Lights of towns and communities 2018 – the meeting at the round table

New type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Stanford University | news.stanford.edu

Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.

This is just one possible application of a new type of robot created by mechanical engineers at Stanford University, detailed in a June 19 Science Robotics paper. Inspired by natural organisms that cover distance by growing – such as vines, fungi and nerve cells – the researchers have made a proof of concept of their soft, growing robot and have run it through some challenging tests.

New type of growing robot

The basic idea behind this robot is straightforward. It’s a tube of soft material folded inside itself, like an inside-out sock, that grows in one direction when the material at the front of the tube everts, as the tube becomes right-side-out. In the prototypes, the material was a thin, cheap plastic and the robot body everted when the scientists pumped pressurized air into the stationary end. In other versions, fluid could replace the pressurized air. What makes this robot design extremely useful is that the design results in movement of the tip without movement of the body.

Read more at Stanford University

Image Credit: L.A. Cicero

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