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Thubber??? Exoskeletons Electro-Muscles and other Artificial Physical Aids
#34
(02-19-2018, 03:22 PM)Kalter Rauch Wrote: I think they use an EMG (ElectroMyoGram) to specifically target nerve/muscle networks.

I turn ALL 8 pads ON !!!

This fracking pacemaker is tough to fight; it is a better build than my 1st one, which got infected somehow. Hmm2

This new 8 pad though I can feel tingling at the top of my head with pads on my temples (those usually STAY in place) I place the other ones elsewhere ... Assimilated

I'm always experimenting with different things, smokes, edibleness, and stuff from here : http://www.salviadragon.com/

Not legal in all states; but MINE IS Band Banana_hump


Bob... Ninja Assimilated
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#35
Quote:"We show that the locomotive properties of these kirigami-skins can be harnessed by properly balancing the cut geometry and the actuation protocol," said Rafsanjani. "Moving forward, these components can be further optimized to improve the response of the system."

Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
February 21, 2018, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

[Image: snakeinspire.jpg]
This soft robot is made using kirigami -- an ancient Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts, rather than origami folds, to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, the kirigami is transformed into a 3-D-textured surface, which grips the ground just like snakeskin. Credit: Ahmad Rafsanjani/Harvard SEAS

Who needs legs? With their sleek bodies, snakes can slither up to 14 miles-per-hour, squeeze into tight space, scale trees and swim. How do they do it? It's all in the scales. As a snake moves, its scales grip the ground and propel the body forward - similar to how crampons help hikers establish footholds in slippery ice. This so-called friction-assisted locomotion is possible because of the shape and positioning of snake scales.

Now, a team of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed a soft robot that uses those same principles of locomotion to crawl without any rigid components. The soft robotic scales are made using kirigami - an ancient Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts, rather than origami folds, to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, the flat kirigami surface is transformed into a 3D-textured surface, which grips the ground just like snakeskin.
The research is published in Science Robotics.
"There has been a lot of research in recent years into how to fabricate these kinds of morphable, stretchable structures," said Ahmad Rafsanjani, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and first author of the paper. "We have shown that kirigami principles can be integrated into soft robots to achieve locomotion in a way that is simpler, faster and cheaper than most previous techniques."
The researchers started with a simple, flat plastic sheet. Using a laser cutter, they embedded an array of centimeter-scale cuts, experimenting with different shapes and sizes. Once cut, the researchers wrapped the sheet around a tube-like elastomer actuator, which expands and contracts with air like a balloon.


Harvard researchers have developed a soft robot inspired by snakes. The robot is made using kirigami -- an ancient Japanese paper craft that relies on cuts, rather than origami folds, to change the properties of a material. As the robot stretches, …more


Quote:VIDEO: https://techxplore.com/news/2018-02-snak...igami.html
When the actuator expands, the kirigami cuts pop-out, forming a rough surface that grips the ground. When the actuator deflates, the cuts fold flat, propelling the crawler forward.
The researchers built a fully untethered robot, with its integrated onboard control, sensing, actuation and power supply packed into a tiny tail. They tested it crawling throughout Harvard's campus.


The team experimented with various-shaped cuts, including triangular, circular and trapezoidal. They found that trapezoidal cuts - which most closely resemble the shape of snake scales -gave the robot a longer stride.
[Image: 1-snakeinspire.jpg]
Harvard researchers built a fully untethered, bioinspired soft robot, with integrated onboard control, sensing, actuation and power supply packed into a tiny tail. Credit: Ahmad Rafsanjani/Harvard SEAS
"We show that the locomotive properties of these kirigami-skins can be harnessed by properly balancing the cut geometry and the actuation protocol," said Rafsanjani. "Moving forward, these components can be further optimized to improve the response of the system."
"We believe that our kirigami-based strategy opens avenues for the design of a new class of soft crawlers," said Katia Bertoldi, the William and Ami Kuan Danoff Professor of Applied Mechanics and senior author of the paper. "These all-terrain soft robots could one day travel across difficult environments for exploration, inspection, monitoring and search and rescue missions or perform complex, laparoscopic medical procedures."
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Mimicking biological movements with soft robots
More information: A. Rafsanjani el al., "Kirigami skins make a simple soft actuator crawl," Science Robotics (2018). robotics.sciencemag.org/lookup … /scirobotics.aar7555

Provided by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

 


Quote:
Quote:Kalter Rauch Wrote: I think they use an EMG (ElectroMyoGram) to specifically target nerve/muscle networks.


Bao's hope is that manufacturers might one day be able to make sheets of polymer-based electronics embedded with a broad variety of sensors, and eventually connect these flexible, multipurpose circuits with a person's nervous system. Such a product would be analogous to the vastly more complex biochemical sensory network and surface protection "material" that we call human skin, which can not only sense touch, but temperature and other phenomena, as well. But long before artificial skin becomes possible, the processes reported in this Nature paper will enable the creation of foldable, stretchable touchscreens, electronic clothing or skin-like patches for medical applications.
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Researchers develop stretchable, touch-sensitive electronics
February 20, 2018 by Andrew Myers And Tom Abate, Stanford University

[Image: 27-researchersd.jpg]
Pixelated electronics built with skin-like materials conform to the complex curves of a hand. Credit: L.A. Cicero
Of the many ways that humans make sense of our world – with our eyes, ears, nose and mouth – none is perhaps less appreciated than our tactile and versatile hands. Thanks to our sensitive fingertips, we can feel the heat before we touch the flame, or sense the softness of a newborn's cheek.

But people with prosthetic limbs live in a world without touch. Restoring some semblance of this sensation has been a driving force behind Stanford chemical engineer Zhenan Bao's decades-long quest to create stretchable, electronically-sensitive synthetic materials. Such a breakthrough could one day serve as skin-like coverings for prosthetics. But in the near term, this same technology could become the foundation for the evolution of new genre of flexible electronics that are in stark contrast with rigid smartphones that many of us carry, gingerly, in our back pockets.
Now, in a Feb. 19 Nature paper, Bao and her team describe two technical firsts that could bring this 20-year goal to fruition: the creation of a stretchable, polymer circuitry with integrated touch-sensors to detect the delicate footprint of an artificial ladybug. And while this technical achievement is a milestone, the second, and more practical, advance is a method to mass produce this new class of flexible, stretchable electronics – a critical step on the path to commercialization, Bao said.

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRrgo1rE-X0BSeO-Ex1QcR...WYShUdFdZQ]Terminal Impact Tensile Sheild[Image: 35e9120bc7be3b5788f923f9b88a6d9f.jpg] Astro Snake Skin

"Research into synthetic skin and flexible electronics has come a long way, but until now no one had demonstrated a process to reliably manufacture stretchable circuits," Bao said.

Bao's hope is that manufacturers might one day be able to make sheets of polymer-based electronics embedded with a broad variety of sensors, and eventually connect these flexible, multipurpose circuits with a person's nervous system. Such a product would be analogous to the vastly more complex biochemical sensory network and surface protection "material" that we call human skin, which can not only sense touch, but temperature and other phenomena, as well. But long before artificial skin becomes possible, the processes reported in this Nature paper will enable the creation of foldable, stretchable touchscreens, electronic clothing or skin-like patches for medical applications.

Layer by layer
Bao said their production process involves several layers of new-age polymers, some that provide the material's elasticity and others with intricately patterned electronic meshes. Still, others serve as insulators to isolate the electronically sensitive material. One step in the production process involves the use of an inkjet printer to, in essence, paint on certain layers.
[Image: 28-researchersd.jpg]
Graduate student Weichen Wang, left, and postdoctoral scholar Jie Xu work together in the Bao lab to prepare a stretchable transistor array. Credit: L.A. Cicero
"We've engineered all of these layers and their active elements to work together flawlessly," said post-doctoral scholar Sihong Wang, co-lead author of the paper.

The team has successfully fashioned its material in squares about two inches on a side containing more than 6,000 individual signal-processing devices that act like synthetic nerve endings. All this is encapsulated in a waterproof protective layer.
The prototype can be stretched to double its original dimensions – and back again – all the while maintaining its ability to conduct electricity without cracks, delamination or wrinkles. To test durability, the team stretched a sample more than one thousand times without significant damage or loss of sensitivity. The real test came when the researchers adhered their sample to a human hand.
"It works great, even on irregularly shaped surfaces," said postdoctoral scholar Jie Xu, and the paper's other co-lead author.
Perhaps most promising of all, the fabrication process described in this paper could become a platform for evaluating other stretchable electronic materials developed by other researchers that could one day begin to replace today's rigid electronics.
Bao said much work lies ahead before these new materials and processes are as ubiquitous and capable as rigid silicon circuitry. First up, she said, her team must improve the electronic speed and performance of their prototype, but this is a promising step.
"I believe we're on the verge of a whole new world of electronics," Bao said.
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Additive manufacturing—a new twist for stretchable electronics?
More information: Sihong Wang et al. Skin electronics from scalable fabrication of an intrinsically stretchable transistor array, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature25494

Provided by Stanford University

https://techxplore.com/news/2018-02-stre...onics.html
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#36
Artificial eye: Researchers combine metalens with an artificial muscle
February 23, 2018, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

[Image: 16-researchersc.jpg]
Photo of the metalens (made of silicon) mounted on a transparent, stretchy polymer film, without any electrodes. The colorful iridescence is produced by the large number of nanostructures within the metalens. Credit: Harvard SEAS
Inspired by the human eye, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an adaptive metalens, that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.

The research is published in Science Advances.
"This research combines breakthroughs in artificial muscle technology with metalens technology to create a tunable metalens that can change its focus in real time, just like the human eye," said Alan She, a graduate student at SEAS and first author of the paper. "We go one step further to build the capability of dynamically correcting for aberrations such as astigmatism and image shift, which the human eye cannot naturally do."
"This demonstrates the feasibility of embedded optical zoom and autofocus for a wide range of applications including cell phone cameras, eyeglasses and virtual and augmented reality hardware," said Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper. "It also shows the possibility of future optical microscopes, which operate fully electronically and can correct many aberrations simultaneously."
The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.
To build the artificial eye, the researchers first needed to scale-up the metalens.
[Image: 17-researchersc.jpg]
The adaptive metalens focuses light rays onto an image sensor. An electrical signal controls the shape of the metalens to produce the desired optical wavefronts (shown in red), resulting in better images. In the future, adaptive metalenses will be built into imaging systems, such as cell phone cameras and microscope, enabling flat, compact autofocus as well as the capability for simultaneously correcting optical aberrations and performing optical image stabilization, all in a single plane of control. Credit: Second Bay Studios/Harvard SEAS
Prior metalenses were about the size of a single piece of glitter. They focus light and eliminate spherical aberrations through a dense pattern of nanostructures, each smaller than a wavelength of light.
"Because the nanostructures are so small, the density of information in each lens is incredibly high," said She. "If you go from a 100 micron-sized lens to a centimeter sized lens, you will have increased the information required to describe the lens by ten thousand. Whenever we tried to scale-up the lens, the file size of the design alone would balloon up to gigabytes or even terabytes."
To solve this problem, the researchers developed a new doink-headto shrink the file size to make the metalens compatible with the technology currently used to fabricate integrated circuits. In a paper recently published in Optics Express, the researchers demonstrated the design and fabrication of metalenses up to centimeters or more in diameter.

"This research provides the possibility of unifying two industries: semiconductor manufacturing and lens-making, whereby the same technology used to make computer chips will be used to make metasurface-based optical components, such as lenses," said Capasso.
Next, the researchers needed to adhere the large metalens to an artificial muscle without compromising its ability to focus light. In the human eye, the lens is surrounded by ciliary muscle, which stretches or compresses the lens, changing its shape to adjust its focal length. Capasso and his team collaborated with David Clarke, Extended Tarr Family Professor of Materials at SEAS and a pioneer in the field of engineering applications of dielectric elastomer actuators, also known as artificial muscles.
The researchers chose a thin, transparent dielectic elastomer with low loss - meaning light travels through the material with little scattering - to attach to the lens. To do so, they needed to developed a platform to transfer and adhere the lens to the soft surface.

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Movie shows metalens in motion, expanding and contracting due to an oscillating applied voltage, which causes the focal length to lengthen and shorten as well. Credit: Alan She/Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
"Elastomers are so different in almost every way from semiconductors that the challenge has been how to marry their attributes to create a novel multi-functional device and, especially how to devise a manufacturing route," said Clarke. "As someone who worked on one of the first scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) in the mid 1960's, it is exhilarating to be a part of creating an optical microscope with the capabilities of an SEM, such as real-time aberration control."
The elastomer is controlled by applying voltage. As it stretches, the position of nanopillars on the surface of the lens shift. The metalens can be tuned by controlling both the position of the pillars in relation to their neighbors and the total displacement of the structures. The researchers also demonstrated that the lens can simultaneously focus, control aberrations caused by astigmatisms, as well as perform image shift.
Together, the lens and muscle are only 30 microns thick.
"All optical systems with multiple components - from cameras to microscopes and telescopes - have slight misalignments or mechanical stresses on their components, depending on the way they were built and their current environment, that will always cause small amounts of astigmatism and other aberrations, which could be corrected by an adaptive optical element," said She. "Because the adaptive metalens is flat, you can correct those aberrations and integrate different optical capabilities onto a single plane of control."
Next, the researchers aim to further improve the functionality of the lens and decrease the voltage required to control it.
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Flat lens to work across a continuous bandwidth allows new control of light
More information: "Adaptive metalenses with simultaneous electrical control of focal length, astigmatism, and shift" Science Advances (2018). advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/2/eaap9957

Provided by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report

[Image: fabricimbued.jpg]
Credit: PHOS-ISTOS-project
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece of fabric imbued with optical fibers and a control mechanism. The system is meant to be used for treatment of skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis and actinic keratosis.

The goal of the project was to create a flexible light-emitting textile for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT) of actinic keratoses—a skin disease characterized by rough patches. The program was initiated in response to requests by people in the medical community looking to replace traditional PDT systems—systems currently in use involve large light panels directed at patients which in addition to treating skin, cause redness and severe pain.
The new system works fundamentally the same as current systems—a cream is applied to the skin followed by treatment with light. The light speeds up a reaction between a photosensitizer in the cream and oxygen in the air. The difference is in the light source. Instead of a large panel, optical fibers knitted into a fabric emit enough light to speed up the reaction, but do so without causing pain. After the cream is applied to the skin, the fabric is placed directly on the body over the impacted area.
Fluxmedicare has been undergoing clinical trials at University Hospital, Lille France and at Klinikum Vest in Germany. Dr. Nadege Boucard, a spokesperson for the team working on the project has described it as an unprecedented system for treating skin conditions. He noted also that in addition to effectively treating a wide variety of skin ailments, the new system actually works better because of its wraparound nature. Light is emitted evenly to every part of the body, which, he pointed out, means the beams are homogeneous. A report from the clinical trial team gave an average ranking of pain for the new system of 0 to 1, which Boucard describes as a 90 percent drop. He has further noted that the cost of the system will be approximately €5,000, just a third of those now in use.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-f...-skin.html
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#37
If they could make a contact lens that allows the HUMAN eye to see in multiple spectra, that would be KEWL !!!

Make an LSD trip even more exciting Angel 


Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
Reply
#38
Adaptive telescope eyepieces to eliminate atmospheric distortion...HubbleVision.
Lunar photos might be better than LRO.
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#39
Quote:The University of Glasgow team's new system is built around an inexpensively-produced sensor capable of measuring pH levels which can stretch and flex to better fit the contours of users' bodies. Made from a graphite-polyurethane composite and measuring around a single square centimetre, it can stretch up to 53% in length without compromising performance. It will also continue to work after being subjected to flexes of 30% up to 500 times, which the researchers say will allow it to be used comfortably on human skin with minimal impact on the performance of the sensor.

Stretchable health sensor could improve monitoring of chronic conditions
February 23, 2018, University of Glasgow


[Image: anewtypeoffl.jpg]
Credit: University of Glasgow
A new type of flexible, wearable sensor could help people with chronic conditions like diabetes avoid the discomfort of regular pin-prick blood tests by monitoring the chemical composition of their sweat instead.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-stretchabl...s.html#jCp



New technique allows printing of flexible, stretchable silver nanowire circuits

February 26, 2018, North Carolina State University

[Image: 5-newtechnique.jpg]
Two printed silver nanowire patterns, horseshoe and Peano curve, with high resolution. Credit: North Carolina State University
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows them to print circuits on flexible, stretchable substrates using silver nanowires. The advance makes it possible to integrate the material into a wide array of electronic devices.

Silver nanowires have drawn significant interest in recent years for use in many applications, ranging from prosthetic devices to wearable health sensors, due to their flexibility, stretchability and conductive properties. While proof-of-concept experiments have been promising, there have been significant challenges to printing highly integrated circuits using silver nanowires.
Silver nanoparticles can be used to print circuits, but the nanoparticles produce circuits that are more brittle and less conductive than silver nanowires. But conventional techniques for printing circuits don't work well with silver nanowires; the nanowires often clog the printing nozzles.
"Our approach uses electrohydrodynamic printing, which relies on electrostatic force to eject the ink from the nozzle and draw it to the appropriate site on the substrate," says Jingyan Dong, co-corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor in NC State's Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. "This approach allows us to use a very wide nozzle – which prevents clogging – while retaining very fine printing resolution."
"And because our 'ink' consists of a solvent containing silver nanowires that are typically more than 20 micrometers long, the resulting circuits have the desired conductivity, flexibility and stretchability," says Yong Zhu, a professor of mechanical engineering at NC State and co-corresponding author of the paper.
"In addition, the solvent we use is both nontoxic and water-soluble," says Zheng Cui, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of the paper. "Once the circuit is printed, the solvent can simply be washed off."
What's more, the size of the printing area is limited only by the size of the printer, meaning the technique could be easily scaled up.
The researchers have used the new technique to create prototypes that make use of the silver nanowire circuits, including a glove with an internal heater and a wearable electrode for use in electrocardiography. NC State has filed a provisional patent on the technique.
"Given the technique's efficiency, direct writing capability, and scalability, we're optimistic that this can be used to advance the development of flexible, stretchable electronics using silver nanowires – making these devices practical from a manufacturing perspective," Zhu says.
The paper, "Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Silver Nanowires for Flexible and Stretchable Electronics," is published in the journal Nanoscale.
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Metal printing offers low-cost way to make flexible, stretchable electronics
More information: Zheng Cui et al. Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Silver Nanowires for Flexible and Stretchable Electronics, Nanoscale (2018). DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09570H

Provided by North Carolina State University

https://techxplore.com/news/2018-02-tech...owire.html
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#40
Quote:"Several recent findings have shown that hydrogels can enable electrical devices well beyond previously imagined," said Zhigang Suo, Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials at SEAS and senior author of the paper. "These devices mimic the functions of muscle, skin, and axon. Like integrated circuits in microelectronics, these devices function by integrating dissimilar materials. This work enables strong adhesion between soft materials in various manufacturing processes. It is conceivable that integrated soft materials will enable spandex-like touchpads and displays that one can wear, wash, and iron."



A new way to combine soft materials
February 28, 2018 by Leah Burrows, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


[Image: anewwaytocom.jpg]
An unmodified hydrogel (left) peels off easily from an elastomer. A chemically-bonded hydrogel and elastomer (right) are tough to peel apart, leaving residue behind Credit: Suo Lab/Harvard SEAS

Every complex human tool, from the first spear to latest smartphone, has contained multiple materials wedged, tied, screwed, glued or soldered together. But the next generation of tools, from autonomous squishy robots to flexible wearables, will be soft. Combining multiple soft materials into a complex machine requires an entirely new toolbox—after all, there's no such thing as a soft screw.


Current methods to combine soft materials are limited, relying on glues or surface treatments that can restrict the manufacturing process. For example, it doesn't make much sense to apply glue or perform surface treatment before each drop of ink falls off during a 3D printing session. But now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new method to chemically bond multiple soft materials independent of the manufacturing process. In principle, the method can be applied in any manufacturing processes, including but 3D printing and coating. This technique opens door to manufacturing more complex soft machines.
The research is published in Nature Communications.
"This technique allows us to bond various hydrogels and elastomers in various manufacturing processes without sacrificing the properties of the materials," said Qihan Liu, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first author of the paper. "We hope that this will pave the way for rapid-prototyping and mass-producing biomimetic soft devices for healthcare, fashion and augmented reality."

Seek% buffered00:00Current time00:00Volume A hydrogel and elastomer are separately molded, and then placed in contact with a thin film of paraffin sandwiched in between. After curing, the contact region between the hydrogel and the elastomer forms bonds while the paraffin region does not. The bonding remains intact as a nozzle inflates the hydrogel into a balloon Credit: Suo Lab/Harvard SEAS
The researchers focused on the two most-used building blocks for soft devices, hydrogels (conductors) and elastomers (insulators). To combine the materials, the team mixed chemical coupling agents into the precursors of both hydrogels and elastomers. The coupling agents look like molecular hands with small tails. As the precursors form into material networks, the tail of the coupling agents attaches to the polymer networks, while the hand remains open. When the hydrogel and elastomer are combined in the manufacturing process, the free hands reach across the material boundary and shake, creating chemical bonds between the two materials. The timing of the "handshake" can be tuned by multiple factors such as temperature and catalysts, allowing different amounts of manufacturing time before bonding happens.

The researchers showed that the method can bond two pieces of casted materials like glue but without applying a glue layer on the interface. The method also allows coating and printing of different soft materials in different sequences. In all cases, the hydrogel and elastomer created a strong, long-lasting chemical bond.
"The manufacturing of soft devices involves several ways of integrating hydrogels and elastomers, including direct attachment, casting, coating, and printing," said Canhui Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first author of the paper. "Whereas every current method only enables two or three manufacturing methods, our new technique is versatile and enables all the various ways to integrate materials."
The researchers also demonstrated that hydrogels—which as the name implies are mostly water—can be made heat resistant in high temperatures using a bonded coating, extending the temperature range that hydrogel-based device can be used. For example, a hydrogel-based wearable device can now be ironed without boiling.
"Several recent findings have shown that hydrogels can enable electrical devices well beyond previously imagined," said Zhigang Suo, Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials at SEAS and senior author of the paper. "These devices mimic the functions of muscle, skin, and axon. Like integrated circuits in microelectronics, these devices function by integrating dissimilar materials. This work enables strong adhesion between soft materials in various manufacturing processes. It is conceivable that integrated soft materials will enable spandex-like touchpads and displays that one can wear, wash, and iron."
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Novel 3-D printing method embeds sensing capabilities within robotic actuators
More information: Qihan Liu et al. Bonding dissimilar polymer networks in various manufacturing processes, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03269-x

Journal reference: Nature Communications [/url]
Provided by:
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences





Human-in-the-loop optimization improves the function of soft, wearable robots

February 28, 2018, [url=https://www.seas.harvard.edu]Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

[Image: personalizin.jpg]
Harvard researchers have developed an efficient machine learning doink-headthat can quickly tailor personalized control strategies for soft, wearable exosuits, significantly improving the performance of the device. Credit: Seth Kroll/Wyss Institute

When it comes to soft, assistive devices—like the exosuit being designed by the Harvard Biodesign Lab—the wearer and the robot need to be in sync. But every human moves a bit differently and tailoring the robot's parameters for an individual user is a time-consuming and inefficient process.

Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied and Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed an efficient machine learning algorithm that can quickly tailor personalized control strategies for soft, wearable exosuits.
The research is described in Science Robotics.
"This new method is an effective and fast way to optimize control parameter settings for assistive wearable devices," said Ye Ding, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and co-first author of the research. "Using this method, we achieved a huge improvement in metabolic performance for the wearers of a hip extension assistive device."
When humans walk, we constantly tweak how we move to save energy (also known as metabolic cost).
"Before, if you had three different users walking with assistive devices, you would need three different assistance strategies," said Myunghee Kim, a postdoctoral research fellow at SEAS and co-first author of the paper. "Finding the right control parameters for each wearer used to be a difficult, step-by-step process because not only do all humans walk a little differently but the experiments required to manually tune parameters are complicated and time-consuming"

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Harvard researchers have developed an efficient machine learning doink-headthat can quickly tailor personalized control strategies for soft, wearable exosuits, significantly improving the performance of the device. Credit: Ye Ding/Harvard SEAS
The researchers, led by Conor Walsh, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Scott Kuindersma, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Computer Science at SEAS, developed an doink-headthat can cut through that variability and rapidly identify the best control parameters that work best for minimizing the of walking.
The researchers used so-called human-in-the-loop optimization, which uses real-time measurements of human physiological signals, such as breathing rate, to adjust the control parameters of the device. As the doink-headhoned in on the best parameters, it directed the exosuit on when and where to deliver its assistive force to improve hip extension. The Bayesian Optimization approach used by the team was first reported in a paper last year in PLOSone.

The combination of the doink-headand suit reduced metabolic cost by 17.4 percent compared to walking without the device. This was a more than 60 percent improvement compared to the team's previous work.
"Optimization and learning doink-head will have a big impact on future wearable robotic devices designed to assist a range of behaviors," said Kuindersma. "These results show that optimizing even very simple controllers can provide a significant, individualized benefit to users while walking. Extending these ideas to consider more expressive control strategies and people with diverse needs and abilities will be an exciting next step."
"With wearable robots like soft exosuits, it is critical that the right assistance is delivered at the right time so that they can work synergistically with the wearer," said Walsh. "With these online optimization doink-head, systems can learn how do achieve this automatically in about twenty minutes, thus maximizing benefit to the wearer."
Next, the team aims to apply the optimization to a more complex device that assists multiple joints, such as hip and ankle, at the same time.
"In this paper, we demonstrated a high reduction in metabolic cost by just optimizing hip extension," said Ding. "This goes to show what you can do with a great brain and great hardware."
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Significant metabolic energy savings gained from wearable, gait-improving robot
Provided by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


https://techxplore.com/news/2018-02-huma...rable.html



[Image: customcarpen.jpg]
Custom carpentry with help from robots
Every year thousands of carpenters injure their hands and fingers doing dangerous tasks such as sawing.
[Image: 1x1.gif]Feb 28, 2018 in Robotics
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[Image: novel3dprint.jpg]
Novel 3-D printing method embeds sensing capabilities within robotic actuators
Researchers at Harvard University have built soft robots inspired by nature that can crawl, swim, grasp delicate objects and even assist a beating heart, but none of these devices has been able to sense and respond to the ...
[Image: 1x1.gif]Feb 28, 2018 in Robotics
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#41
You've heard of Puss in Boots? Duck waddles again thanks to his brand new prosthetic BOOTS to replace the feet torn off by lake predators
  • A duck that had his feet severed off is now waddling again thanks to prosthetics
  • The duck lost its feet when a predator bit them off while swimming  in a lake
  • Now the little Mandarin has new bright yellow prosthetic feet and has astonished animal experts by being able to walk again
By Bridie Pearson-jones For Mailonline
Published: 15:10 EDT, 28 March 2018 | Updated: 15:10 EDT, 28 March 2018
 
A duck that had both feet severed after being attacked by predators is waddling around again after being fitted with replacement prosthetic feet, that resemble tiny yellow boots. 
The injured bird's missing feet were restored in a unique 40-minute operation by a vet and a prosthetics technician, who created two lightweight moulds out of dental resin and bonded them to the damaged limbs.
A fortnight after the new prosthetic feet were attached and painted a bright yellow, the duck has amazed animal experts on how well it has adapted to the artificial substitutes.
Video playing bottom right...


The prize bird, which lives on a nature reserve in Sao Paulo, was found, earlier this month, struggling to swim while making futile attempts to dive beneath the water to catch prey.
'When I pulled the Mandarin out of the water I realised he had suffered a major trauma which had caused him to lose buoyancy,' recalled Reinaldo Grivol, who works as a park official at the Parque Clube de Pirajuí.
'His webbed feet were gone, and his shanks were mutilated stumps, dripping with blood.
 
'We believe he was attacked by either a large carnivorous fish or by an otter that bit off his feet while he was in the water.'
Regarded as the world's most beautiful duck with its stunning plumage, the photogenic fowl was taken to local vet, Wilma Pinatti.
She said: 'I managed to successfully treat the injuries by curing the lesions and dressing the wounds, but this was evidently not going to be enough.
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Duck Duck Go! The injured mandarin wears prosthetic yellow feet and can now waddle around 
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A duck that had both feet severed after being attacked by predators, but is now waddling around again
'It was clear the fowl couldn't be released back into the wild as he wouldn't survive.
'I asked a good friend, who specialises in dental prostheses, to help me find a solution so the duck could walk again.'
The challenge was complex because they needed to ensure the synthetic imitations did not exacerbate the bird's injuries and cause blisters. 
But it extended the creatures' ability to live independently on the reserve.
'The prostheses had to be lightweight while at the same time strong enough to sustain the duck's weight and resistant, allowing him to swim again without pulling him down in the water,' the pet specialist said.
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The injured bird's missing feet were restored in a unique 40-minute operation by a vet and a prosthetics technician
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The challenge was complex because they needed to ensure the synthetic imitations did not exacerbate the bird's injuries and cause blisters
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The duck is considered exceptionally beautiful to locals in n Sao Paulo due to its plummage
Dental prosthetics technician, Marcelo Calister measured the duck's shanks and discovered his index finger was a good judge for the width and thickness of the creature's legs.
'After a bit of trial and error, we found the best method was to use a silicone based dental resin, the type used in dentures,' he explained, adding he took comparative measurements of the feet from other Mandarins in the park.
The mould was produced in the shape of little 'boots' with the covering extending up to seal in the duck's leg and the bottom cut to resemble webbed feet.
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The mandarin has amazed animal experts by how well its adapted to the next feet
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The vet visits once a week to monitor the Mandarin's recovery because it's still on medication and will only be released back into the wild once it's made a full recovery
'The fitting process was very fast. Within 40 minutes the prostheses were attached to the bird and he adapted to his new look immediately,' Mr Calister recalled.
To everyone's delight, the adult red-bill male experienced no complications and is currently having physiotherapy sessions in a bath to practice swimming.
The vet visits once a week to monitor the Mandarin's recovery because it's still on medication and will only be released back into the wild once it's made a full recovery.
In the meantime, the cute creature is keeping everyone entertained as it 'clacks' around the yard in its new yellow boots.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5555417/Duck-waddles-thanks-brand-new-prosthetic-BOOTS-replace-feet-torn-predator.html#ixzz5B7eNp0E9
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#42
Ski-worthy exoskeleton set to enhance experience
March 31, 2018 by Nancy Owano, Tech Xplore

[Image: skiworthyexo.jpg]
San Francisco-based company called Roam Robotics is to provide its first exoskeleton and it's aimed at skiers. Skiers? Sounds strange. One would think the last thing a skier would want to think about is a heavy suit with sundry attachments weighing the person down when all the skier wants is the very lightness of being on a sunny, clear afternoon.

Wrong. The Roam exoskeleton is quite interesting, customized to enhance, not hinder, the skier's experience. The purpose of the exoskeleton is to help people ski longer—and ski stronger.
Daniel Terdiman in Fast Company weighed in, saying "skiers better get ready to start seeing people zipping by them effortlessly on the slopes wearing what appears to be little more than standard leg braces."
Roam's founder and CEO Tim Swift said in Fast Company: "We set out to make devices that completely change the cost curve and the weight curve."
Swift holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley.
Main ingredients: Lightweight plastic, fabric and machine learning. The company said its first release "are already spoken for, but there will be more on the way." They said if a person wants to reserve one or will be in the Tahoe or Park City areas and would like to try a day rental, "reach out to us and we'll be in touch." The company site posted a "Join the Waitlist."

So what is their exoskeleton all about? Think shock absorbers for your legs, said Swift, in trying to mimic what your quads are doing, and taking a load off your legs. It consists of two parts. First is the backpack (for power and processing), and strap-on exoskeleton parts for the leg. You connect it to your boot. Strap in on to your thigh.
David Nield in New Atlas stepped readers through further how the system works.
"Through a combination of sensors and software calculations, the exoskeleton adjusts torque at the knee to support what your legs are already doing, and the accompanying app for Android and iOS lets you adjust just how much help the exoskeleton offers."
How does machine learning enter into the mix?
The machine learning element is meant to understand how you ski, said Terdiman, "and anticipate when you're going to make a turn in order to deliver the extra torque just when you want it." Extra power goes to your legs when you turn.

Terdiman reported that "Roam is hoping to get the public into its exoskeleton by next winter, and plans on making them available at first at resorts in the Tahoe and Park City, Utah, areas."
At the Roam Robotics site, Terdiman was strapped into a skiing treadmill. He wore an exoskeleton prototype. Once activated, its advantage kicked in. Terdiman discovered the system "takes the pressure off the quads, especially when turning, when it's needed most."
Each time he began a turn, the system actuated, delivering power to the legs, "and literally making me feel like it was lifting me up–which, of course, took the pressure off my quads."
Roam's premise is that for many people skiing is more than a way to pass time. It's a passion. And the suit is an advantage for people at all levels.
According to Fast Company, "Experts should find themselves able to do turns they couldn't before, Swift predicts, or go comfortably into the backcountry, while leisure skiers should be able to stay out on the slopes all day and even ski multiple full days in a row, even if they're not in shape. Older skiers should be able to ski like they did when they were younger and stronger."
New Atlas said, "At the end of the day you can fire up the app and check your performance statistics too, everything from top speed to the routes you took down the mountain."
[Image: img-dot.gif] Explore further: Alexa paired with exoskeleton could bring fresh step in mobility
More information: www.roamrobotics.com/ski-reservations/





First dynamic spine brace—robotic spine exoskeleton—characterizes spine deformities
April 9, 2018, Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science


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The Robotic Spine Exoskeleton consists of two six-degrees-of-freedom parallel-actuated modules connected in series, each with six actuated limbs. Each module controls the translations/rotations or forces/moments of one ring in three …more
Spine deformities, such as idiopathic scoliosis and kyphosis (also known as "hunchback"), are characterized by an abnormal curvature in the spine. The children with these spinal deformities are typically advised to wear a brace that fits around the torso and hips to correct the abnormal curve. Bracing has been shown to prevent progression of the abnormal curve and avoid surgery. The underlying technology for bracing has not fundamentally changed in the last 50 years.



While bracing can stop/retard the progression of abnormal spine curves in adolescents, current braces impose a number of limitations due to their rigid, static, and sensor-less designs. In addition, users find them uncomfortable to wear and can suffer from skin breakdown caused by prolonged, excessive force. Moreover, the inability to control the correction provided by the brace makes it difficult for users to adapt to changes in the torso over the course of treatment, resulting in diminished effectiveness.

To address these deficiencies, Columbia Engineering researchers have invented a new Robotic Spine Exoskeleton (RoSE) that may solve most of these limitations and lead to new treatments for spine deformities. The RoSE is a dynamic spine brace that enabled the team to conduct the first study that looks at in vivo measurements of torso stiffness and characterizes the three-dimensional stiffness of the human torso. The study was published online March 30 in IEEE Transactions of Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

"To our knowledge, there are no other studies on dynamic braces like ours. Earlier studies used cadavers, which by definition don't provide a dynamic picture," says the study's principal investigator Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia Engineering and professor of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. "The RoSE is the first device to measure and modulate the position or forces in all six degrees-of-freedom in specific regions of the torso. This study is foundational and we believe will lead to exciting advances both in characterizing and treating spine deformities."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-dynamic-sp...s.html#jCp

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Engineers build smallest volume, most efficient wireless nerve stimulator
In 2016, University of California, Berkeley, engineers demonstrated the first implanted, ultrasonic neural dust sensors, bringing closer the day when a Fitbit-like device could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in ...
[Image: 1x1.gif]22 minutes ago in Engineering

Non-invasive, adhesive patch promises measurement of glucose levels through skin without finger-prick blood test

April 9, 2018, University of Bath


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The sensor array is designed to draw fluid across a single hair follicle. Credit: University of Bath
Scientists have created a non-invasive, adhesive patch, which promises the measurement of glucose levels through the skin without a finger-prick blood test, potentially removing the need for millions of diabetics to frequently carry out the painful and unpopular tests.



The patch does not pierce the skin, instead it draws glucose out from fluid between cells across hair follicles, which are individually accessed via an array of miniature sensors using a small electric current. The glucose collects in tiny reservoirs and is measured. Readings can be taken every 10 to 15 minutes over several hours.

Crucially, because of the design of the array of sensors and reservoirs, the patch does not require calibration with a blood sample—meaning that finger prick blood tests are unnecessary.

Having established proof of the concept behind the device in a study published in Nature Nanotechnology, the research team from the University of Bath hopes that it can eventually become a low-cost, wearable sensor that sends regular, clinically relevant glucose measurements to the wearer's phone or smartwatch wirelessly, alerting them when they may need to take action.

An important advantage of this device over others is that each miniature sensor of the array can operate on a small area over an individual hair follicle - this significantly reduces inter- and intra-skin variability in glucose extraction and increases the accuracy of the measurements taken such that calibration via a blood sample is not required.

The project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between scientists from the Departments of Physics, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, and Chemistry at the University of Bath.

Professor Richard Guy, from the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, said: "A non-invasive - that is, needle-less - method to monitor blood sugar has proven a difficult goal to attain. The closest that has been achieved has required either at least a single-point calibration with a classic 'finger-stick', or the implantation of a pre-calibrated sensor via a single needle insertion. The monitor developed at Bath promises a truly calibration-free approach, an essential contribution in the fight to combat the ever-increasing global incidence of diabetes."

Dr Adelina Ilie, from the Department of Physics, said: "The specific architecture of our array permits calibration-free operation, and it has the further benefit of allowing realisation with a variety of materials in combination. We utilised graphene as one of the components as it brings important advantages: specifically, it is strong, conductive, flexible, and potentially low-cost and environmentally friendly. In addition, our design can be implemented using high-throughput fabrication techniques like screen printing, which we hope will ultimately support a disposable, widely affordable device."

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The patch can be attached to the wrist to measure blood glucose without piercing the skin. Credit: University of Bath
In this study the team tested the patch on both pig skin, where they showed it could accurately track glucose levels across the range seen in diabetic human patients, and on healthy human volunteers, where again the patch was able to track blood sugar variations throughout the day.

 

The next steps include further refinement of the design of the patch to optimise the number of sensors in the array, to demonstrate full functionality over a 24-hour wear period, and to undertake a number of key clinical trials.

Diabetes is a serious public health problem which is increasing. The World Health Organization predicts the world-wide incidence of diabetes to rise from 171M in 2000 to 366M in 2030. In the UK, just under six per cent of adults have diabetes and the NHS spends around 10% of its budget on diabetes monitoring and treatments. Up to 50% of adults with diabetes are undiagnosed.

An effective, non-invasive way of monitoring blood glucose could both help diabetics, as well as those at risk of developing diabetes, make the right choices to either manage the disease well or reduce their risk of developing the condition.

  [/url]Explore further: A glucose testing patch that doesn't require pricking the skin

More information: Non-invasive, transdermal, path-selective and specific glucose monitoring via a graphene-based platform, Nature Nanotechnology (2018). nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/s41565-018-0112-4


Journal reference: Nature Nanotechnology
Provided by: [url=https://phys.org/partners/university-of-bath/]University of Bath


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-04-non-invasi...n.html#jCp
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