Transparent gel acoustics heralds the emergence of soft robots





How about a crystal clear sound system or a pane of glass with the function of active noise? In the science lab at Harvard University have developed a technology that allows you to create a “soft” robotics. The technology is based on the principle of ionic conductivity. Detailed description of the work is contained in a recent issue of the journal Science.

Transparent speaker thin rubber plate is formed between two layers of gel mineralized. Acting on a gel of high voltage electric shock, the researchers made a rubber layer to shrink rapidly and vibrates, reproducing sound in the full spectrum of frequencies perceived by the human ear – from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

In the structure of conventional conductors such as copper atoms occupy a fixed position, and the chain transfer electrons to each other. In ionic conductors, things are different: ions are constantly changing their position within the structure. This means that the wire can be stretched to several times without increasing its resistance and thus preventing current flow through the system. This makes the ion conductor ideal for use in the flexible electronics.

Ionic conductors can not be called a new idea, but the instability when exposed to high voltages caused many to question their practicality. However, the Harvard researchers found a way to protect your system from unwanted chemical reactions. As an insulator, they used rubber plate.

Scientists hope that the ionic conductors based gel will create transparent and flexible implants “soft machine” that can move and feel, as does the man.

Other scientists have created Supergirl, which melts in the cold and “drinking water in buckets.”
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