Ionic web invented that could break through in flexible robotics
Researchers have developed an ionic web that can grab objects 68 times heavier than their own mass and clean themselves.
Spiders weave their flexible webs in a specific pattern that allows them to feel the smallest vibrations and easily remove adhered particles. Based on the architecture of this natural structure, scientists from Seoul National University have created its synthetic counterpart.
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The constructed ionic web is actually a flexible robot consisting of a weave of elastic silicone rubber tubes filled with ionic conductive organic gel. Under the action of a high voltage current, the network generates an electric field, polarizing the surrounding objects and creating an electrostatic adhesion effect, due to which the spider web can trap polymers, metals and organic materials.
Such a network can stretch three times compared to the initial state without damaging the structure and capture objects whose mass is 68 times its own. To save energy and optimize performance, the system will only initiate adhesion when in close proximity to a third-party object.
In addition, the ionic web can independently clean its surface using electrostatic vibration, that is, it uses electricity to create alternating forces of attraction and repulsion between the threads.
According to the developers, such a structure can be used in a variety of flexible robotics applications, including e-skin and artificial muscles.
Earlier, we also reported on the development of a battery so durable that it can be used to manufacture structural elements of robots.
, Seoul National University