According to foreign media New Atlas, when talking about flexible robotic equipment, some devices that are as soft as rubber or foldable like origami may come to mind. Due to the use of conductive folding metal materials, the latter will soon become lighter, stronger, and stronger.
Origami-style flexible robots are usually made of folded plastic or paper. To make them electronically functional, sensors and circuits must be added to their surface, but this makes them larger, heavier and less flexible.
This new material was developed by scientists at the National University of Singapore, led by Associate Professor Chen Po-Yen, and folded it into a retractable structure, like a bellows. Then they immersed the structure in a graphene oxide solution, immersed it in a platinum ion solution (gold or silver can also be used), and burned it in argon at a temperature of 800ºC (1,472ºF).
The material produced by this process is composed of 70% platinum and 30% amorphous carbon (ie ash). In the last step, the material is soaked in an elastomer solution to stabilize it. The finished product is foldable, stretchable and flexible, with a thickness of only 90 microns. According to reports, it weighs only half of paper, but unlike paper or plastic, it is conductive.
In addition, it can withstand temperatures up to 800ºC for five minutes without burning, and it will generate heat in response to the applied current. These features allow a “backbone” robot made of this material to operate under dangerous conditions and de-ic itself when needed.
Experiments have also shown that this material can sense mechanical stress, and because it can act as its own antenna, it can allow robots to communicate wirelessly with each other or with operators.
Scientists are now studying the use of cheap metals (such as copper) and are exploring ways to allow this material to store energy-so no separate battery is needed. It is hoped that this material can eventually be used in applications such as search and rescue robots or in lightweight repair equipment.
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