Self-Folding Electronics Could Enable Advanced Robotics


Self-folding electronics will be a boon for the advanced robotics

We live a technologically evolving time wherein new scientific advancements are made on daily basis. The field of advanced robotics is going through rapid phase of development and the recent development of the self-folding electronics will help in giving a boost to it. Currently demand is high for such robots which can perform wide variety of tasks and this can only be done if we have right components in place offering such flexibility and capability to the robots. It is extremely challenging task for the scientists to come up with such components which can be put into mass production for usage in the advanced robotics and other fields.  However a group of researchers has claimed that a way has been developed which can help in printing the electronics which possess the ability to fold themselves in any desirable shape.

3D printing helps in creating self-folding components

Scientist now can work on developing advanced robots by first coming to the drawing board. Their job will focus on getting architectural design ready which can be turned into reality at the earliest using the 3D printing technology at hold. 3D printing has advanced quickly in the last decade wherein it capability has been boosted to a whole new level and currently it finds application across the fields with self-folding. 3D Printing is known to be bit slow as well as costly and in some cases can lead to the structural flaws. In order to get rid of the structural flaws scientists has come up with the plan of crafting such methods which helps in producing flat electronics with the ability to fold after they have been printed.

In order to fully realize the dream of creating self -folding electronics scientists also had to work on developing additional processing steps or to be more precise condition which instructs the component to change their shape. This helped in folding the device into the desired shape but it has also had its own limitation requiring another practical approach to set it on the right course.

Giving the final shape to the self-folding electronics

After great research these scientists were able to formulate a new ink containing acrylate monomers as well as oligomers having the ability to be cured using ultraviolet light. Now they stored the energy in question in very specific region of the part printed by the 3D Printers so that it can be instructed to swell upon facing a very unique condition. Later on complete device is printed and taken out from the printing platform. Now when swelling force is applied to the printed portion of the device then it starts folding itself into a predetermined shape.

All of this might appear to be too simple but it does help in opening up the possibility of developing components which can benefit the advanced robotics and human machine interfaces like never before. Very soon we are likely to be engulfed with the self-folding electronics all round us making use of this very technique which first made it possible.


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