Scientists have learned how to remotely control a soft robot
Soft robots are gaining more attention due to unusual usage scenarios compared to hard mechanical machines. A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina, have invented a new way to remotely control a soft robot by using a magnetic field. In the body of the robot are embedded tiny particles that are organized in self-assembled chains under magnetic field. This allows you to set robot new complex functions at the maximum simple structure. Areas of practical application of such robots a lot: from biomedical technologies and systems for delivery of drugs to the aerospace industry.
Simple observation of the behavior of the iron particles in the polymer solution under the influence of a magnetic field induced scientists to believe that a similar effect can be achieved with harder materials. The polymer material was dried and began to study the behavior and changing characteristics of iron particle depending on the intensity of the magnetic field. Changing the direction of the magnetic field vector and strength, scientists have made different responses. Now we have created three of type of soft robots made of polymeric material with inclusions of iron. The first robot operates as a pump, the second mimics the muscles have the properties of reducing and stretching. The third type of robots is able to lift a weight 50 times the weight of the robot.
Where and what is the actual use will find these robots, only time will tell and further study of unusual material properties.