The Perspex blocks lifted by the artificial muscle weigh 231 gm (left), more than 80 times the weight of the electroactivated polymer (EAP) muscle (right) at 2.77 gm. (Source: National University of Singapore)
In this particular context the connotation of "intellectual" was a bit negative, as referring to one who is showing off how much they know. Which was by no means my intention this time.
And the stupid windows OS keeps interrupting what I am doing to tell me that it needs to restart the computer to implement some useless update that it decided that I needed. Why should it be that important, when it won't even reveal what all of these updates are. ANY REPUTABLE and honest company would not bring a product to market until it was ready. BUT microsopht chooses to deliver quite buggy products on a routine basis. That tells me a lot about their priorities.
William, I thoroughly enjoy our exchanges, even when we misunderstand each other. Unfortunately, that's easy to do in short written missives like email or this comments format. 100-plus years ago people wrote long, handwritten letters to each other over the period of several months, even years, in which there was more space and time to communicate nuances and details more thoroughly.
And has the word "intellectual" become something bad in some context? I think it's difficult for intelligent people to not be intellectual also. Or perhaps I should ask first: what do *you* mean by the word "intellectual"?
It appears that you have a creative mind and an excellent imagination as well. Sometimes my statements should simply be taken at face value, although looking up the documented meanings of words may be helpful, sinc I not only don't follow fads, I often actively reject them. This includes that lazy fad of incorrect word usage. EEK!, I am beginning to sound like an "intellectual." Not what I intended to convey.
Ann, no, excitement is a very accurate word for thae descriptionj. Not what it's connotation brings to mind, which is typically fun, but more toward the formal definition of driving into motion. But the thing is that polymer muscles are an entirely new thing and they would appear to have a unique set of characteristics unlike anything we are familiar with.
Ann, that is it, exactkly. Just imagine a very low loss capacitor of some medium high capacitance with the stored voltage dependant on mechanicalmdisplacement. And imagine that same capacitor delivering a lot of mechanical displacement when it gets short circuited. I can see a fair amount of excitement for those who would be careless just a bit.
Thanks for that, William. Now I see your point, and I think it's an interesting one. I also note that the study on EAPs mentions the drawback of high operating voltage, so I understand why you see a challenge here.
Ann, yes, I am referencing the one statement about them being something like a capacitor. It is already common that not only can some ceramic capacitors produce sounds, but that they can also deliver voltages based on external vibration. These polymer muscle devices produce force when driven by an electrical charge, in all probability they will also produce a charge in response to an external force. Now picture yourself stumbling and falling forward, and catching yourself with your hands. For most people there would be no injury, but quite a bit of force. Now imagine that same amount of force suddenly being applied to a polymer muscle, and the resulting voltage that it would produce. And it is quite likely that these devices will have larger values of capacitance, similar to the current "supercap" devices. So I can see the existance of large voltages not planned for, and large forces inadvertantly released, and a chance at stored charges awaiting the unsuspecting.
None of these would be a "show-stopper", but they could certainly lead to additional challenges to deal with.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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