Teeny robots get a speed boost from origami folding

Origami has inpsired a new kind of microbot that can fold itself. It could be useful in fields like medical equipment and infrastructure sensing.

Jim Lynch-Michigan • futurity
July 30, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: robots temperature self-assembly featured science-and-technology origami

4D printing makes stuff that changes shape

"This opens the door to printing soft robotics that could swim like a jellyfish, jump like a cricket, or transport liquids like the heart."

Mike Williams-Rice • futurity
June 10, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: 3d-printing polymers self-assembly featured science-and-technology

With a zap, tiny particles assemble into ‘test-tube gems’

With a charge, researchers got microparticles to form via self-assembly into complex crystals that mimic gemstones like opals.

Rachel Harrison-NYU • futurity
April 22, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: materials-science self-assembly microparticles science-and-technology salt crystals

Algorithm for fish stripes clarifies patterns in nature

A new algorithm could help scientists better understand how zebrafish get their stripes, as well as how other patterns in nature self-assemble.

Kevin Stacey-Brown • futurity
March 2, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: fish algorithms self-assembly science-and-technology patterns pigments

Why leftover Cheerios stick together

The "Cheerio effect," a phenomenon that causes small objects to cluster on the surface of a liquid, could help design small aquatic robots, researchers say.

Kevin Stacey-Brown • futurity
Dec. 19, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: robots fluid-dynamics self-assembly science-and-technology liquids forces

Paper art inspires robots that go from 2D to 3D

Researchers have taken inspiration from the Japanese paper art of kirigami to make robotic devices that fold themselves into new shapes with a bit of heat.

Matt Shipman-NC State • futurity
Dec. 17, 2019 ~3 min

Tags: robots temperature self-assembly featured science-and-technology paper

‘Bottlebrush’ polymers bring coatings under control

Microscopic bottlebrush polymers that resemble their larger kitchen cousins could offer exquisite control over coatings, researchers say.

Mike Williams-Rice • futurity
Nov. 14, 2019 ~3 min

Tags: polymers drug-delivery self-assembly science-and-technology coatings

Scrambled frog eggs reform into cell-like structures

"If you blend a computer, you'd end up with tiny bits of computer.... But, lo and behold, the cytoplasm reorganizes."

Stanford • futurity
Nov. 11, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: frogs eggs cells self-assembly health-and-medicine

4D printing makes lattice that turns into a face

A new method for 4D printing, which makes objects that can change shapes based on the environment, could be useful in electronics, smart fabrics, and more.

Boston University • futurity
Oct. 8, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: materials-science 3d-printing faces self-assembly science-and-technology

‘Digital alchemy’ reverse-engineers useful crystals

"In a single day, on a regular computer, we were able to study more different kinds of particles than have been reported in the last decade."

Kate McAlpine-Michigan • futurity
July 15, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: nanotechnology materials-science self-assembly featured science-and-technology crystals

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