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Tag Archives: smart materials

Sutures that heal and monitor

Sutures have been used for thousands of years by all civilisation. We have testimony of sutures using vegetable fibres, even sutures using the claws of some type of insects. Of course, modern medicine is no longer using these “natural” materials having been able to leverage on much better materials created …

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Clustering million nano-lenses to create a flat lens

The digital cameras embedded in smartphones have made incredible progresses, killing point and shoot cameras and now getting close to kill reflex cameras. The quality of the photos has improved thanks to electronics (better digital sensors and faster processing chip) and to software (computational photography). What has seen very little …

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Affordable bionic hand

For quite some time the focus of researchers working on creating an artificial hand/limb has been on functionality, and rightly so. How can we create an artificial hand that can be controlled by the person’s brain via the stump? Researchers have discovered that the brain of a person with an …

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Megatrends for this decade XXV

17. Brain Computer Interfaces The connection of our brain to a computer was in a way imprinted in the name that many gave to the earlier ideas of computers: “Electronic Brains”. If they are both “brains” it makes sense to look for a connection among them: easier said than done. …

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Towards Structural Batteries

If you open the hood of your car you’ll see, among many other parts, the battery. Take an electric car and you’ll see plenty of batteries. Researchers and engineers have been at work for a while to remove those batteries and embedding them into the car’s chassis and the bodywork …

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Planning for the new World – II

Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution We are already in the path of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the one characterised by a merging of the physical, digital and -at least for some- biological world. Personally I tend to limit the characterisation to the merging of physical and digital leaving the merging …

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It is time to reinvent the wheel

We have already moved quite a long way from Henry Ford’s famous statement: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” He didn’t actually wanted to limit customer’s choice, he wanted to produce a car that could be affordable for (mostly) …

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Self-repairing robots do have a sense of self? – II

The advance in smart material technologies includes the capability of self replication. Studies in this area started in the last decade and exploited the results of Nature: using DNA strings with attached molecules of materials scientists demonstrated the possibility of replication (see the image). Of course the replication instructions to …

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ElectroSkin for soft robotics

In the last ten years there have been several researches focussing on the creation of a sensory system for robots that could be as effective as the one of animals. Animals have a variety of sensorial capabilities, varying in different species. Most species (probably all) have touch sensors embedded in …

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