Some of you will remember self-assembly and programmable materials from an older post, well, today we want to show you the ultimate broadcast news presented by MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) researchers: “Programmable Viscoelastic Material” (PVM). This material allows 3D-printed objects with programmable hardness and elasticity, furthermore, users will be the ones who programme their own inventions according to their needs. You will only need a 3D-printer to build your object with a similar process based in additive manufacturing, that consists on depositing droplets of different materials (different mechanical properties) in a multilayer structure until the design is completed.
Although the possible applications of this materials are numerous (from cell phone cases to security helmets or boots) the idea is to use this technology to make robots safer and more precise in their movements.
Let’s think, for example, in UAV landings: a shock-absorbing skin could protect the most vulnerable parts, as cameras or sensors, from unexpected shocks, while dampers will absorb impacts more efficiently as long with small vibrations, for a soft landing end. Moreover, these materials can decrease the amount of transmitted energy during a shock in 250 %. Do you think MIT researchers have convinced Google or Amazon to introduce this technology in their delivery drones?
Check out the video!