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From: Savant9/22/2017 6:54:20 PM
   of 1171
 
Synthetic muscle breakthrough could lead to 'lifelike' robots

Researchers claim it's the closest artificial material equivalent to a natural muscle.

Saqib Shah, @eightiethmnt
engagdet
September 21, 2107



Westworld / HBO
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A breakthrough in soft robotics means scientists are now one step closer to creating lifelike machines. Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a 3D printed synthetic tissue that can act as active muscle. The material, which can push, pull, bend, and twist (thanks to its use of silicone rubber and ethanol-dispensing micro-bubbles) is also capable of carrying 1,000 times its own weight. Not only could the invention result in super-strong machines (like a Terminator that works in manufacturing), but it will also release soft robots from their current shackles.

You see, synthetic muscle tech is presently reliant on tethered external compressors or high voltage equipment. But, robots fitted with this new tissue could theoretically be freed up to move around like humans, enabling them to better grip and pick up objects. Which is a big deal, because the plan is to eventually get these bots to help with non-invasive surgeries and to care for the elderly -- among other tasks.



The researchers are touting the material as the first synthetic muscle that can withstand both high-actuation stress and high strain. "We've been making great strides toward making robots minds, but robot bodies are still primitive," said lead scientist Hod Lipson. "This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We've overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots."

After 3D printing it into the desired shape, the team electrically actuated the artificial muscle using a thin resistive wire and low-power (8V). They then tested it in a variety of robotic applications, where it demonstrated significant expansion-contraction ability. The researchers claim the synthetic tissue is also capable of expanding up to 900 percent when electrically heated to 80°C.

Building on their initial findings, the team plans to incorporate conductive materials to replace the need for the connecting wire. Further down the line, they intend to combine it with artificial intelligence that can learn to control the muscle, resulting in (they hope) "natural" movement.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/21/synthetic-muscle-soft-robot-breakthrough/

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From: Savant9/26/2017 2:20:13 PM
   of 1171
 

Sleep msn.com

Hearing regeneration in owls
msn.com

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From: Savant9/27/2017 10:40:20 AM
   of 1171
 

Energy generation/Evaporative engine... impractical for now, but very innovative

technologyreview.com

Evaporation Engines Could Produce More Power Than Coal, with a Huge Caveat
A new study suggests we could tap into natural evaporation for a huge part of our energy needs, but it would come at a high cost to our freshwater resources. by James Temple September 26, 2017



2


Technology that can tap into the renewable power of natural water evaporation could produce a huge portion of the nation's energy needs—at least theoretically (see " Scientists Capture the Energy of Evaporation to Drive Tiny Engines").

Prototype "evaporation-driven engines" generate power from the motion of bacterial spores that expand and contract as they absorb and release air moisture. If it could be done efficiently and affordably, the devices could provide more than 325 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity, outpacing coal, according to a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.



That, however, would require covering the surface of every lake and reservoir larger than 0.1 square kilometers in the lower 48 states, excluding the Great Lakes, with arrays of the devices. Obviously, that would directly conflict with existing economic and recreational uses, and raise a host of serious aesthetic and environmental concerns. Notably, interfering with evaporation on a large enough scale, across a big enough lake, could even alter local weather.

But study coauthor Ozgur Sahin says that the paper is more of a thought experiment designed to underscore the potential of the technology and the importance of advancing it beyond lab scale, rather than any sort of literal development proposal.

Sahin, an associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University, believes it could make a significant contribution to clean-energy and climate goals, even if it's never rolled out at anywhere near the potential extent highlighted in the study.

He says that early use cases could include remote reservoirs already generating hydroelectric power, where it's not as likely to interfere with other uses. It could offer the added benefit of reducing water loss through evaporation, increasing the amount available for energy generation, irrigation, and other needs.



The team of scientists also created a tiny, evaporation-powered car, dubbed Eva. Sahin and colleagues at Columbia have been working on this technology for years. In a 2015 paper, the team described an evaporation engine that relied on Bacillus subtilis spores adhered to stacks of film attached to shutter mechanisms. When the device is placed above water, the spores absorb moisture from natural evaporation and expand, opening the shutter and allowing moisture to escape. The spores then dry out and contract, closing the shutter once again, and allowing additional air moisture to flow in and restart the process. When the device is connected to a generator, the continual oscillating motion generates a tiny amount of power.

As MIT Technology Review previously reported: "An eight-centimeter-by-eight-centimeter water surface can produce about two microwatts of electricity (a microwatt is one-millionth of a watt), on average, and can burst up to 60 microwatts."

The team has continued to work on improving the efficiency and scalability of the technology, exploring additional materials and means of spore adhesion. Because the technology is largely based on biological materials, the eventual cost could be lower than solar photovoltaic cells and other technologies that require specially manufactured materials, Sahin believes.

Crucially, Bacillus subtilis spores continue to perform the necessary mechanical motion even when they're dead or dormant.

In addition, the technology largely avoids the intermittency limitations of wind and solar power because, while evaporation rates change, they don't stop. Moreover, since the devices decrease the evaporation rate, they also raise the temperate of surface water. Modeling in the new study showed that by deliberating altering the rate of this process, they could create a kind of thermal water battery that balances out generation and demand. When throttled up, the heat in the water would increase evaporation, boosting power generation.

“We could match power demand on an hourly basis about 98 percent of the time in warm and dry places,” Sahin says. “Which means you don’t need an external battery to adjust for intermittency.”





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From: Savant9/30/2017 2:07:55 PM
   of 1171
 
msn.com

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From: Savant10/5/2017 9:55:27 PM
   of 1171
 

Mayo Clinic Water cremation>> video.vice.com

1/12th the energy, less pollution

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From: Savant10/16/2017 7:50:28 PM
   of 1171
 

New era in astronomy,
Alchemy..how to make gold.

msn.com

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