We often want "muscles" in our projects. But, servos (and motors) are large, power hungry, noisy, and rotate (rather than pull directly). Pneumatics seem to require a bulky, power hungry, noisy pump. Memory metal has some nice scale, but is also power hungry (and hot). Piezo (film) seems promising, but is weak and requires high-voltage… Continue reading Muscles

Notes from DDW Part 1

Last year I saw a digital spinning machine, project HILO, and talked with weaver who built it, Sara Diaz Rodriguez. I was excited by the engineering (arduino driven), and we talked about working together. The project & Sara Diaz Rodriguez was at DDW again with the next generation machine (all opensource!). Looks like I'll go… Continue reading Notes from DDW Part 1

Aka 10KHz, Humans as single pixel cameras

There are single-pixel cameras, that trade time (a series of patterns are projected, and the reflected brightness recorded) for pixels (it's just brightness: single pixel). We can see the original object if the brightness/pattern is played back ... fast enough. Cf. ~16Hz rate of motion pictures ("flicker fusion"). Picture of Einstein in the pdf. Why… Continue reading Aka 10KHz, Humans as single pixel cameras

3D Print Almost Graphene

Seems to be "cured" graphene oxide, but a technique for 3D Printing To create these complex structures, Hensleigh started with graphene oxide, a precursor to graphene, crosslinking the sheets to form a porous hydrogel. Breaking the graphene oxide hydrogel with ultrasound and adding light-sensitive acrylate polymers, Hensleigh could use projection micro-stereolithography

Artificial Mangrove

Math, modeling, water tanks, to figure out how mangrove roots work to resist storms. Via mangrove root systems even have the ability to dissipate tidal energy through unique hydrological flows and divert the energy of water ... robust network of roots that can withstand extreme environmental conditions. modeled the complex mangrove roots as a… Continue reading Artificial Mangrove

Self-folding tiny origami robots

Watch the frenetic behavior. “It’s called a one-degree-of-freedom structure, in which you just need to turn one crank and the whole thing moves in the way that you want,” Demaine explains. “It lets you transfer just one degree of freedom into a whole complicated motion, all through the mechanics of the structure.” This is an… Continue reading Self-folding tiny origami robots

particles + water + pressure

Liquification of bulk cargo can sink ships: granular materials loaded directly into a ship’s hold – can suddenly turn from a solid state into a liquid state... Solid bulk cargoes are typically “two-phase” materials as they contain water between the solid particles. As everyone knows, liquification happens during earthquakes A lot is known about the… Continue reading particles + water + pressure

RFID Circuit Bending

LiveTag (via slashdot) new smart tags that harness reflected Wi-Fi signals ... copper foil printed onto lightweight paper-like material ... had to experiment with many different combinations of shapes, sizes, and materials for the LiveTags and run all those combinations through computer simulations. ... the smart tags only work within a three-foot range of Wi-Fi… Continue reading RFID Circuit Bending

DIY Metamaterials from Origami

In the paper Origami - inspired Cellular Metamaterial with Anisotropic Multistability we create a family of origami-inspired cellular metamaterials which can be programmed to have various stability characteristics and mechanical responses in three independent orthogonal directions. ... Our study provides a platform to design programmable three-dimensional metamaterials significantly broadening the application envelope of origami. Metamaterials… Continue reading DIY Metamaterials from Origami