Combining Turker design and electro-osmosis to create strong and fast hydrogels
A team of researchers from Seoul National University has developed a robust and fast hydrogel accelerator that combines Turker design and electro-osmosis. In their article published in the press Science, The team describes their approach and how well the resulting actuator performed when tested in a real-world experiment. Zhen Jiang and Pingan Zhang, in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland, outline some of the difficulties faced by researchers in developing hydrogels that mimic biological organisms and comment on the work done by the team in Korea in an overview article published in the same journal. The problem.
Hydrogels, as their name implies, are gels made with a water base. Robotics have been studying them closely for years. The goal is to create soft actuators that are decomposable components that can interact with the environment in the desired ways. To succeed, the accelerator can convert some kind of energy into mechanical work, which is somewhat similar to human muscles. To make them more effective, scientists now need to have stronger driving forces than possible and want to respond quickly when needed. In this new endeavor, researchers have taken another step towards achieving both goals.
The panel developed a hydrogel using standard techniques, but sealed it with high osmosis and hardening. As a fluid enters the turgor cell-like structure, the rigidity is designed to have an inflammatory environment. This allowed pressure to build up, and in doing so, it exerted a force against nearby objects. The cell test produced enough force (730 N) to separate a common building brick. The researchers note that such a force is approximately 1,000 times greater than any other known hydrogel. To speed up the process, the researchers used an electric current that operated 19 times faster than its normal osmotic ratio.
<div class="article-main__explore my-4 d-print-none"> Developed a water-powered soft drive </div> <hr class="mb-4"/> <div class="article-main__more p-4"> <strong>More info:</strong> Hydrogel based strong and fast drives by Hyunok Na et al., Electrosmotic Turker Pressure, <i>Science</i> (2022) <a data-doi="1" href="https://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abm7862" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DOI: 10.1126 / science.abm7862</a>
Zenjiang et al., Hydraulic actuators, strong and fast Science (2022) DOI: 10.1126 / science.abo4603
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