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Soft Robotic Hand Learns How to Sweat to Stop Overheating

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Scientists from Cornell University and the Istituto Italiano di Technologia have developed a ‘3D-

printed hydrogel actuator that has autonomic perspiration’ – otherwise known as a robot rubber hand that can cool itself with its own sweat. Designed to handle scenarios where long operating hours might lead to a robot overheating and its performance degrading, these grippers can remain cool and operational. Hollow, pressurized reservoirs inside the fingers are filled with water and connected to the surface via ducts made of heat-reactive plastic. When the plastic hits a certain temperature, the pores open and water is pushed to the surface where it evaporates with a cooling effect. Sweating actuators like this are said to exhibit a 600% enhancement in cooling rate over similar non-sweating devices. In order for this to work, you need to keep topping up your liquid supply. The

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