Scientists develop durable material for flexible artificial muscles

Jul 16, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership AI

UCLA materials scientists and colleagues at the nonprofit scientific research institute SRI International have developed a new material and manufacturing process for creating artificial muscles that are stronger and more flexible than their biological counterparts.

"Creating an artificial muscle to enable work and detect force and touch has been one of the grand challenges of science and engineering," said Qibing Pei, a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and the corresponding author of a study recently published in Science.

In order for a soft material to be considered for use as an artificial muscle, it must be able to output mechanical energy and remain viable under high-strain conditions—meaning it does not easily lose its form and strength after repeated work cycles. While many materials have been considered contenders for making artificial muscles, dielectric elastomers (DE)—lightweight materials with high elastic energy density—have been of special interest because of their optimal flexibility and toughness.

Dielectric elastomers are electroactive polymers, which are natural or synthetic substances composed of large molecules that can change in size or shape when stimulated by an electric field. They can be used as actuators, enabling machines to operate by transforming electric energy into mechanical work.

Most dielectric elastomers are made of either acrylic or silicone, but both materials have drawbacks. While traditional acrylic DEs can achieve high actuation strain, they require pre-stretching and lack flexibility. Silicones are easier to make, but they cannot withstand high strain.

Utilizing commercially available chemicals and employing an ultraviolet (UV) light curing process, the UCLA-led research team created an improved acrylic-based material that is more pliable, tunable and simpler to scale without losing its strength and endurance. While the acrylic acid enables more hydrogen bonds to form, thereby making the material more movable, the researchers also adjusted the crosslinking between polymer chains, enabling the elastomers to be softer and more flexible. The resulting thin, processable, high-performance dielectric elastomer film, or PHDE, is then sandwiched between two electrodes to convert electrical energy into motion as an actuator.

Each PHDE film is as thin and light as a piece of human hair, about 35 micrometers in thickness, and when multiple layers are stacked together, they become a miniature electric motor that can act like muscle tissue and produce enough energy to power motion for small robots or sensors. The researchers have made stacks of PHDE films varying from four to 50 layers.

"This flexible, versatile and efficient actuator could open the gates for artificial muscles in new generations of robots, or in sensors and wearable tech that can more accurately mimic or even improve humanlike motion and capabilities," Pei said.

Artificial muscles fitted with PHDE actuators can generate more megapascals of force than biological muscles and they also demonstrate three to 10 times more flexibility than natural muscles.

Multilayered soft films are usually manufactured via a "wet" process that involves depositing and curing liquid resin. But that process can result in uneven layers, which make for a poor- performing actuator. For this reason, up to now, many actuators have only been successful with single-layer DE films.

The UCLA research involves a "dry" process by which the films are layered using a blade and then UV-cured to harden, making the layers uniform. This increases the actuator's energy output so that the device can support more complex movements.

The simplified process, along with the flexible and durable nature of the PHDE, allows for the manufacture of new soft actuators capable of bending to jump, like spider legs, or winding up and spinning. The researchers also demonstrated the PHDE actuator's ability to toss a pea-sized ball 20 times heavier than the PHDE films. The actuator can also expand and contract like a diaphragm when a voltage is switched on and off, giving a glimpse of how artificial muscles could be used in the future.

The advance could lead to soft robots with improved mobility and endurance, and new wearable and haptic technologies with a sense of touch. The manufacturing process could also be applied to other soft thin-film materials for applications including microfluidic technologies, tissue engineering or microfabrication.


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新加坡7人“换妻”迷奸案细节公布!妻子被下药,全程录像直播...

Nov 03, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership AI

几名新加坡男子,在网上论坛认识后,沉浸在性幻想中无法自拔。

为了满足他们心中变态的好奇心,他们开始筹划换妻,并下药迷倒自己的妻子,让其他男子强奸自己的妻子!

昨天(10月31日),这起轰动新加坡一时的罪案在新加坡法庭进行了审理,涉案的七人中,有四人认罪,其中一人当场被判刑。

因为情况太过恶劣,为了保护受害人法院并未透漏她们的任何资料。被告人的名字也全部用字母代替。

回顾这起案件,这些男子的行径着实震碎了正常人的三观……

新加坡这名男子迷倒妻子 邀请其他人强奸并直播录像!

新加坡本体媒体《8视界新闻网》报道,法庭文件透露这起案件的主犯,是一名化名为J的新加坡男子。

J今年52岁,有着一份正当的工作,犯案时是一名业务拓展经理。这些年他和妻子一共生下了三个孩子,一家人原本很和谐地生活在一起。

不过在平静的生活下,J内心里涌动着一些邪恶的想法。

终于,在2010年,他在一个网络论坛上遇到了很多和自己臭味相投的人。在这个虚拟的平台,J肆无忌惮表露出自己的变态性癖,并发表了想玩换妻游戏的言论。

在这里,他们一起分享了很多有关“换妻”的想法。

聊着聊着,有一天他再也忍不住自己内心的想法,问自己妻子是否愿意接受3p。不出所料的,J的妻子拒绝了这个“提议”。

不过,这并没有阻止J付诸行动。

在一开始,包括J在内的一些人纷纷在家中安装网络摄像头。之后,他们会挑选时间告知网友相关的账号和密码,让他们自行观看自己和妻子的性爱视频。

经过一段时间后,J还是不满足。

于是,在某一天他下药迷晕了自己的妻子,然后邀请其他网友来家中与其发生关系!

随着事态的发展,J越来越沉迷其中……2013年,趁着妻子身体不适的时候,J还偷偷换了药物,再次邀请朋友来家中迷奸妻子。

这次,J竟然还打开了网络直播!

沉迷于“换妻游戏”,J不仅仅是让别人和自己妻子发生关系,同时他也跟其中一名网友K“商量好了”,趁着K迷晕自己妻子的工夫和她发生了性关系。

在某种程度上,K的行为更加恶劣,他甚至自己充当了摄像师的角色,拍下了J和自己妻子发生关系时的整段性爱视频……

渐渐的,J的妻子在不知情的情况下跟多人发生了性行为,相关视频还被上传到网络。

在当时,引起了相当多人的关注。

换妻行为曝光报警 更多人牵涉其中受重罚

J本以为这件事可以一直继续下去,不料在今年,他的妻子无意中看见丈夫手机在播放视频。

在好奇心的驱使下,她看到视频内容,这才恍然发现:

在过去的几年里,丈夫在暗地里进行了多次换妻活动,而自己在不知情的状态下被多次迷晕,在和他人强行强行发生关系后还被拍照记录……

拿着证据,J的妻子当面质问K,而K也承认自己曾经和昏迷的她有过性行为,并将自己妻子迷晕交给J的事实。

在得知真相后,J的妻子立即选择报警。随着案件的调查,调查人员惊讶地发现,还有更多人参与其中。

其中,有一名参加了J“举办的”换妻活动的L,也对自己的妻子如法炮制。

在一次在作案时,L的妻子尽管被下药后蒙住眼睛,在中途清醒了过来。

但L居然并未因此感到害怕而终止犯罪活动,而是要求自己一名同事P直接强行跟自己妻子发生关系,幸而L的妻子及时挣脱逃离,才免遭摧残。

之后,P在一封信中交代了全部经过,并表示自己不知道受害人并不知情才犯下罪案。

但法律并不会因为他的解释而对他开恩,最总P被判处三年监禁。他是涉案七名男子中,第一个被判刑的男子。

还有四人也已认罪,等待下一轮审讯。相信在严明的法律下,他们肯定无法逃脱坐牢。

不过,涉案情节严重的K在落网后,一再向警方和法官说自己有心理疾病,并要求医生为其检测,意图逃脱刑罚。

新加坡心理卫生院诊断后,确认了K患有偷窥症。但在审理中法官认为K对自己的非法行为是知情的,依旧是犯罪行为。

K对法院的说法表示不服,并要求开庭申辩。

但K的犯罪事实已被揭露,并且为自己的行为供认不讳,加上此案件牵连甚广,性质过于恶劣,估计也是难逃法律制裁。


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