Ionic Synthetic Spider Web – Transforming Soft Robotics?

Researchers have developed a new robot – called the ionic spider web – that is inspired by the way spiders weave webs, according to one blog post on the Seoul National University website.

As a newcomer to the field of soft robotics, the progress made in creating successful applications of the fully functional artificial spider web will certainly become an iconic setting for future forays into this difficult field.

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Ionic spider web could revolutionize soft robotics

Spiders construct their webs with a minimalist scheme to allow the sensation of subtle vibrations produced when prey is entangled in the structure.

It also allows the spiders to clean dust and debris from their webs, removing any contaminants. Professor Jeoung-Yun Sun – along with his research team – took inspiration from the architectural experience of spiders and reapplied it to spin artificial spider webs capable of detecting, adhering and self -clean via electrostatic actuation, as well as a dirt-repellent coat.

Ionic cobwebs will take their place as part of the gentle robot revolution, according to the blog post. Soft robots are made of conformal materials capable of extreme flexibility, making them ideal for performing sporadic or chaotic tasks that most conventional robots cannot handle.

Spiders use their web to capture and kill their prey before damage ensues

The more general use of soft robots has been restricted due to the challenge of seamlessly integrating the many elements of a soft robot into a single unit. But via biomimicry. By modeling the technology of gentle robotics after the spider and its web, the problem was solved.

Spider webs serve as both the shelter for spiders and the ultimate bait, which is why they must possess seemingly contradictory properties: versatile structural integrity and the ability to destroy prey.

Once the potential prey is hooked to the sticky silk, the spider scrambles to minimize damage to the overall structure of the web. When it encounters its prey, the spider then wraps it in fresh silk to guarantee its death.

Ionic spider web captures objects 68 times the weight of the web itself

Professor Sun and his students – Won-Jun Song and YoungHoon Lee – designed a gentle robot based on the architectural model of efficiency and elegance of the spider. Their invention is called the Ionic Spider Web (ISW) – which is an ionically conductive organic gel core contained in a durable yet elastic material. Silicone rubber.

High voltage electricity creates an electric field – polarizing surrounding objects in the ISW and creating a physical effect called electrostatic adhesion, with which the ISW captures many objects like polymers, organic materials, and even metals.

Additionally, the elastic nature of ISWs means they can stretch up to three times their length at rest, allowing the flexible robotic web to capture elements with a mass 68 times the web itself. same.

Close-ups show that ISW can blend in with forests, fallen leaves, a brick wall, and ordinary building floors. Source: Seoul National University

ISW cleans with electricity, vibration by frequency

ISWs can sense when a target is near and initiate electrostatic adhesion capabilities in time to optimize its capture and energy expenditure. This is particularly crucial since the capture of electrostatic adhesion can contribute to the contamination of the tape.

With proximity sensitivity, the ISW minimizes its “in time”, resulting in 32.5 times the grip strength of similar machines that stay “on” all the time, on a long scale. term.

Last but not least, ISWs can clean up contamination via electrostatic vibrations – much like the vibrations created when spiders chase the contaminant, according to the blog post. Since the web itself does not launch a slingshot, the ISW uses electricity to create an alternation of attractive and repulsive forces between the string, which reaches a frequency sufficient to generate a physical vibration.

Soft robotics should turn to nature for simpler distributions of human tasks

This process allows ISWs to maintain up to 98.7% of their fully functional capacities, which is crucial for the real world applications of tomorrow.

In short, ISWs could become an iconic framework for advanced real-world software robotics applications. The technologies presented in this latest invention will have direct importation into other fields, from electronic skin to the genesis of artificial muscles. If we are to build robots capable of doing what humans do, researchers will need to continue to search nature for simple models of the tasks humans have performed – as we often do. do everything – complicated.

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