Block polymer with shape memory turned into a universal capture

Chinese scientists have proposed a simple and universal design for grasping objects: a piece of polymer with shape memory. It must be heated to soften and press the desired item, then be allowed to cool until solidification, move to the desired location, and then re-heated, causing the polymer will return to its original shape and squeeze the object out. In this way, you can move relatively large objects, and microscopic with a size of tens of micrometers, say the authors of the article in Science Advances.

Capture object — this is not the field of robotics, but one of the most developed because of the achievements it can be applied universally. For example, the seizure of objects needed for warehouse sorting strips or in the automobile factories to move large elements of the car. In addition, the manipulation of objects is carried out and the robots interacting with the person, for example, caring for people with disabilities.

During the capture of the subject, the device must first assess the size, shape, and distance to the object, then determine the best place to grip and when compressed to monitor the stress level to avoid damage to the object and its deformation. This requires the development of complex and resource-intensive algorithms as well as sophisticated equipment, for which the cost of such devices is still quite high.

Scientists from Zhejiang University under the direction of jizhou song (Jizhou Song) has proposed to change the principle for gripping objects with compression or suction for the introduction of a polymer with modifiable properties. The material the researchers chose epoxy-amine polymer with effect of shape memory.

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