Carnegie Mellon University Develops Self-Healing Electric Material for Robots

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have created a new electrically conductive material that can repair itself, which presents opportunities for soft robotics and wearable technologies. The material is said to a composite made of liquid metal droplets suspended in an elastic polymer. When the material is physically damaged by puncturing or by cutting, the currently nameless material responds by re-routing the electrical signals by making new connections with neighbouring droplets. Suggested application for this material include use by first-responder robots that perform rescues during emergencies in hazardous environments, health-monitoring wearables for athletes in training, and in space travel where robots can withstand extreme conditions such as on Mars. CMU are less concerned with creating robots that look cosmetically healed and are focused on creating one that can operationally heal itself.

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