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Current issue

ELEKTRO 2/2020 was released on February 12th 2020. Its digital version will be available on March 12th 2020.

Topic: Electrical apparatus, Internet of Things; Medical technologies

Main Article
Monitoring vacancy of an intelligent building

SVĚTLO (Light) 1/2020 was released on February 3th 2020. Its digital version will be available on March 3th 2020.

Fairs and exhibitions
Invitation for Light+Building 2020 – attendant programme
Prolicht+Sound fair celebrates the 25th birthday
FOR CITY 2020 introduces oneself in parallel to FOR ARCH fair

Luminaires and light apparatuses
Modern trends in automobile headlamps

Using electricity and water, a new kind of motor can slide microrobots into motion

20.11.2018 | MIT | www.mit.edu

Look around and you'll likely see something that runs on an electric motor. Powerful and efficient, they keep much of our world moving, everything from our computers to refrigerators to the automatic windows in our cars. But these qualities change for the worse when such motors are shrunk down to sizes smaller than a cubic centimeter.

At very small scales, you get a heater instead of a motor,” said Jakub Kedzierski, staff in MIT Lincoln Laboratory's Chemical, Microsystem, and Nanoscale Technologies Group. Today, no motor exists that is both highly efficient and powerful at microsizes. And that’s a problem, because motors on that scale are needed to put miniaturized systems into motion — microgimbals that can point lasers to a fraction of a degree over thousands of miles, tiny drones that can squeeze into wreckage to find survivors, or even bots that can crawl through the human digestive tract.

New type of motor

To help power systems like these, Kedzierski and his team are making a new type of motor called a microhydraulic actuator. The actuators move with a level of precision, efficiency, and power that has not yet been possible at the microscale. A paper describing this work was published in the September 2018 issue of Science Robotics.

Read more at MIT

Image Credit: Glen Cooper

-jk