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Towards a new era in flexible piezoelectric sensors for both humans and robots

Flexible piezoelectric sensors are essential to monitor the motions of both humans and humanoid robots. However, existing designs are either are costly or have limited sensitivity. In a recent study, researchers tackled these issues by developing a novel piezoelectric composite material made from electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride nanofibers combined with dopamine. Sensors made from this material showed significant performance and stability improvements at a low cost, promising advancements in medicine, healthcare, and robotics.

3D-printed mini-actuators can move small soft robots, lock them into new shapes

Researchers have demonstrated miniature soft hydraulic actuators that can be used to control the deformation and motion of soft robots that are less than a millimeter thick. The researchers have also demonstrated that this technique works with shape memory materials, allowing users to repeatedly lock the soft robots into a desired shape and return to the original shape as needed.

Researchers harness AI for autonomous discovery and optimization of materials

Today, researchers are developing ways to accelerate discovery by combining automated experiments, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. A novel tool that leverages those technologies has demonstrated that AI can influence materials synthesis and conduct associated experiments without human supervision.

Researchers create realistic virtual rodent

To help probe the mystery of how brains control movement, scientists have created a virtual rat with an artificial brain that can move around just like a real rodent. The researchers found that activations in the virtual control network accurately predicted neural activity measured from the brains of real rats producing the same behaviors.

Trash-sorting robot mimics complex human sense of touch

Researchers are breaking through the difficulties of robotic recognition of various common, yet complex, items. Their layered sensor is equipped with material detection at the surface and pressure sensitivity at the bottom, with a porous middle layer sensitive to thermal changes. An efficient cascade classification algorithm rules out object types in order, from easy to hard, starting with simple categories like empty cartons before moving on to orange peels or scraps of cloth.

Four-legged, dog-like robot ‘sniffs’ hazardous gases in inaccessible environments

Nightmare material or truly man's best friend? A team of researchers equipped a dog-like quadruped robot with a mechanized arm that takes air samples from potentially treacherous situations, such as an abandoned building or fire. The robot dog walks samples to a person who screens them for potentially hazardous compounds.

Liquid metal-based electronic logic device that mimics intelligent prey-capture mechanism of Venus flytrap

A research team has developed a liquid metal-based electronic logic device that mimics the intelligent prey-capture mechanism of Venus flytraps. Exhibiting memory and counting properties, the device can intelligently respond to various stimulus sequences without the need for additional electronic components. The intelligent strategies and logic mechanisms in the device provide a fresh perspective on understanding 'intelligence' in nature and offer inspiration for the development of 'embodied intelligence'.

New model allows a computer to understand human emotions

Researchers have developed a model that enables computers to interpret and understand human emotions, utilizing principles of mathematical psychology. In the future, the model can help the computer to adapt its own behavior and guide an irritated or anxious user in different ways. The implications of such technology are profound, offering a glimpse into a future where computers are not merely tools, but empathetic partners in user interaction.
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