Archive for the ‘cyborgs’ category: Page 8

Jun 28, 2022

Nanotube artificial muscles pick up the pace

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, cyborgs, nanotechnology, robotics/AI

An electrochemically powered artificial muscle made from twisted carbon nanotubes contracts more when driven faster thanks to a novel conductive polymer coating. Developed by Ray Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas in the US and an international team, the device overcomes some of the limitations of previous artificial muscles, and could have applications in robotics, smart textiles and heart pumps.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are rolled-up sheets of carbon with walls as thin as a single atom. When twisted together to form a yarn and placed in an electrolyte bath, CNTs expand and contract in response to electrochemical inputs, much like a natural muscle. In a typical set-up, a potential difference between the yarn and an electrode drives ions from the electrolyte into the yarn, causing the muscle to actuate.

While such CNT muscles are highly energy efficient and extremely strong – they can lift loads up to 100,000 times their own weight – they do have limitations. The main one is that they are bipolar, meaning that the direction of their movement switches whenever the potential drops to zero. This reduces the overall stroke of the actuator. Another drawback is that the muscle’s capacitance decreases when the potential is changed quickly, which also causes the stroke to decrease.

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Jun 27, 2022

Self-sensing artificial muscle-based on liquid crystal elastomer and low-melting point alloys

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, food, life extension, robotics/AI, security

Materials scientists and bioengineers at the intersection of regenerative medicine and bioinspired materials seek to develop shape-programmable artificial muscles with self-sensing capabilities for applications in medicine. In a new report now published in Science Advances, Haoran Liu and a team of researchers in systems and communications engineering at the Frontier Institute of Science and Technology, Jiaotong University, China, were inspired by the coupled behavior of muscles, bones, and nerve systems of mammals and other living organisms to create a multifunctional artificial muscle in the lab. The construct contained polydopamine-coated liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) and low-melting point alloys (LMPA) in a concentric tube or rod. While the team adopted the outer liquid crystal-elastomer to mimic reversible contraction and recovery, they implemented the inner low-melting point alloy for deformation locking and to detect resistance mechanics, much like bone and nerve functions, respectively. The artificial muscle demonstrated a range of performances, including regulated bending and deformation to support heavy objects, and is a direct and effective approach to the design of biomimetic soft devices.

Soft robotics inspired by the skeleton–muscle–nerve system

Scientists aim to implement biocompatibility between soft robotic elements and human beings for assisted movement and high load-bearing capacity; however, such efforts are challenging. Most traditional robots are still in use in industrial, agricultural and aerospace settings for high-precision sensor-based, load-bearing applications. Several functional soft robots contrastingly depend on materials to improve the security of human-machine interactions. Soft robots are therefore complementary to hard robots and have tremendous potential for applications. Biomimetic constructs have also provided alternative inspiration to emulate the skeleton-muscle-nerve system to facilitate agile movement and quick reaction or thinking, with a unique body shape to fit tasks and perform diverse physiological functions. In this work, Liu et al were inspired by the fascinating idea of biomimicry to develop multifunctional artificial muscles for smart applications.

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Jun 27, 2022

Wearable muscles offer an impressive upper-body endurance boost

Posted by in categories: computing, cyborgs, wearables

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a lightweight, wearable textile exomuscle that uses sensors embedded in its fabric to detect a user’s movement intentions and chip in extra force as needed. Initial tests show a significant boost in endurance.

Where powered exoskeletons act as both muscle and bone, providing force as well as structural support, exomuscles make use of the body’s own structure and simply chip in with additional force. As a result, they’re much lighter and less bulky, but they’re also limited in how much force they can deliver, since human bones and joints can only take so much.

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Jun 23, 2022

Robotic Armband Shows Promise for Advanced Dexterity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, wearables

AZoRobotics speaks with Dr. Erik Enegberg from Florida Atlantic University about his research into a wearable soft robotic armband. This could be a life-changing device for prosthetic hands users who have long-desired advances in dexterity.

Typing on a keyboard, pressing buttons on a remote control, or braiding a child’s hair has remained elusive for prosthetic hand users. How does the loss of tactile sensations impact limb-absent people’s lives?

Losing the sensation of touch has a profound impact on people’s lives. Some of the things that may seem simple and a part of everyday life, such as stroking the fur of a pet or the skin of a loved one, are a meaningful and fundamental way to connect with those around us for others. For example, a patient with a bilateral amputation has previously expressed concerns that he might hurt his granddaughter by accidentally squeezing her hand too tightly as he has lost tactile sensation.

Jun 22, 2022

Robotic lightning bugs take flight

Posted by in categories: climatology, cyborgs, mobile phones, robotics/AI

From there, they ran flight tests using a specially designed motion-tracking system. Each electroluminescent actuator served as an active marker that could be tracked using iPhone cameras. The cameras detect each light color, and a computer program they developed tracks the position and attitude of the robots to within 2 millimeters of state-of-the-art infrared motion capture systems.

“We are very proud of how good the tracking result is, compared to the state-of-the-art. We were using cheap hardware, compared to the tens of thousands of dollars these large motion-tracking systems cost, and the tracking results were very close,” Kevin Chen says.

In the future, they plan to enhance that motion tracking system so it can track robots in real-time. The team is working to incorporate control signals so the robots could turn their light on and off during flight and communicate more like real fireflies. They are also studying how electroluminescence could even improve some properties of these soft artificial muscles, Kevin Chen says.

Jun 18, 2022

Making Mind Reading Possible: Invention Allows Amputees To Control a Robotic Arm With Their Mind

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI

A University of Minnesota research team has made mind-reading possible through the use of electronics and AI.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities have created a system that enables amputees to operate a robotic arm using their brain impulses rather than their muscles. This new technology is more precise and less intrusive than previous methods.

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Jun 12, 2022

A team of researchers led by an Indian-origin engineer developed an electronic skin that feels pain

Posted by in categories: computing, cyborgs

Researchers have created an electronic skin that can feel pain. The working of artificial skin is based on synaptic transistors that eliminate the response time.

Jun 9, 2022

Scientists grew living human skin around a robotic finger

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, robotics/AI

In the hopes of one day building super realistic cyborgs, researchers built a robotic finger that wears living human skin.

Jun 9, 2022

New Artificial Skin Lets Bionic Arm Or AI Robot Touch & Feel With Extreme Sensitivity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

New artificial skin for bionic arm or AI robot | breakthrough photonic chip processes 2 billion images per second without memory device.

AI news includes new artificial skin to let AI robot, bionic arm or prosthetic limb feel with extreme touch sensitivity. New photonic chip allows AI to process and classify 2 billion images per second without needing storage device.

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Jun 7, 2022

Restoring a lost sense of touch | Podcast | Overheard at National Geographic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, military, robotics/AI

This is a fantastic podcast exploration of a rapidly maturing, wildley varied fields of science, the military, medicine, the industrialization, exploration, and colonization of our solar system, and the hope for, path to, and purpose of the successful creation of a posthuman, post scarcity future. Its a future destination for humanity that will require a seemless, successful integration of our human biology with artificial intelligence and advanced nonbiological — AND artificially biological — mechanical systems that in one way or another all pass through a very few neccessary technological achievements. In this case it is the seemless communication in both directions of the biological, in this specific case it’s the human sense of touch.

When Brandon Prestwood’s left hand was caught in an industrial conveyor belt six years ago, he lost his arm. Scientists are slowly unraveling the science of touch by trying to tap into the human nervous system and recreate the sensations of pressure for people like Prestwood. After an experimental surgery, Brandon’s prosthetic arm was upgraded with a rudimentary sense of touch—a major development in technology that could bring us all a little closer together.

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