Mechanical torque limiters have been employed for many years as a simple and reliable means of torque overload protection in case of machine jams and crashes. The actuation ring moves to trigger the external sensor. With a compact, simple design, they are absolutely backlash-free and torsionally rigid, providing sound insurance against costly machine down time resulting from broken tooling, components, etc.
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
When you think of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, you may imagine complex humanoid contraptions made of metal and wires that move like a Terminator Series T-90. But what actually happened at the much-vaunted event was something just a bit different.
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