What Happened? Engineers have developed a new class of smart textiles that can shape-shift and turn a two-dimensional material into 3D structures. The team from UNSW Sydney’s Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, and Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering (Tyree iHealth), led by Dr. Thanh Nho Do, have produced a material that is constructed from tiny soft artificial ‘muscles’ – which are long silicon tubes filled with fluid which are manipulated to move via hydraulics. These artificial muscles, which are surrounded by a helical coil of traditional fibers, can be programmed to contract or expand into various shapes depending on their initial structure.
Why is this important, and how will this impact people and our planet? This technology can revolutionize the robotics industry as it would allow for robot limbs and other 3D structures to be created with a high degree of flexibility. Additionally, this technology could also be used in biomedical applications such as creating artificial blood vessels or implants that can change shape. The team is currently working on improving the strength and durability of their materials and commercializing their technology in the next few years.
Do you think this technology is promising? What other applications can you think of for this technology? Let us know in the comments below!
Author: Christian Kromme
First Appeared On: Disruptive Inspiration Daily
The latest disruptive trends with converging technologies that will change your life!