Skip to comments.Explosive power makes silicone robot jump
Posted on 02/11/2013 9:12:08 PM PST by neverdem
Simple chemical reaction powers robot to make lofty leaps.
Kaboom! Controlled explosions in the legs of this silicone 'soft robot' make it leap higher than 30 times its own height.
Researchers led by George Whitesides, a chemist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have engineered a three-legged silicone device that is powered by combustion previously used only in hard systems such as diesel engines.
The soft robot has in each of its legs a channel with a soft valve at the end. Methane and oxygen gases are fed into this channel in a ratio of one part methane to two parts oxygen. The computer that controls how much gas is let in also controls a high-voltage cable connected to electrodes in each leg.
When the computer sparks the electrodes, the methane and oxygen explode, turning into carbon dioxide and water and releasing a lot of energy. The downward force from the explosion makes the robot jump higher than 30 centimetres so far, although the researchers say the range has been limited by the height of the testing chamber. The soft valve is crucial, says Robert Shepherd, a study co-author and engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It closes in response to high pressure, thus making the pressure even higher, and then it opens after the explosion to let the exhaust gases out...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
The activator "pull" switch is conveniently located in the robot's right index finger.
I’m pretty sure I was doing something similar with a tennis ball, propane and a pringles can when I was kid....
I was going to reply with some snark about having 8 of these in my truck outside, but figured I’d spare you because I’m sure someone will find it interesting.
Very interesting! We must have similar interests, since this is the second post of yours that I’ve clicked on tonight.
I was just thinking of this in application to fuel injectors.
Contributing to global warming!!!!!
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
I can make one of these by eating enough beans, and I’ve got the ‘soft valve’ as well. Mine can be varied to change the pitch of the escaping gas.
Check comment# 9.
Picturing the stunning advancements now possible in various industries: The Creepy-Crawler sector, Fake Vomit industry... perhaps even the Faux Doggy Poo manufactures.
“Hello, Dave. Wanna’ pull my digit?”
carbide cannon is similar
A two person operations. For our neghborhood war games we’d make two three of them... Now we’d be branded as terorrists... Go figure.
could you make an internal combustion engine out of sodium and water?