EETimes & DesignLines – Construction: no matter if it is residential, commercial, or industrial — is one of the most labor-intensive jobs on the planet. It’s also the least automated, but that is rapidly changing as more robots are entering the field due to labor shortages and the pandemic. Adaptation has always been on the front lines when it comes to new technologies. Like with nearly every industry, automated robots are being deployed to construction sites all over the world.
As their name implies, construction robots are automated machines that assist with surveying, erecting buildings, or demolition. While there is some fear that robots will replace workers, these robots are designed to work with humans, making their jobs more manageable and less hazardous in some cases.
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Science News and Carnegie Mellon University – Many natural organisms have the ability to repair themselves. Now, manufactured machines will be able to mimic this property. In findings published this week in Nature Materials, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a self-healing material that spontaneously repairs itself under extreme mechanical damage.
This soft-matter composite material is composed of liquid metal droplets suspended in a soft elastomer. When damaged, the droplets rupture to form new connections with neighboring droplets and reroute electrical signals without interruption. Circuits produced with conductive traces of this material remain fully and continuously operational when severed, punctured, or had material removed.
Applications for its use include bio-inspired robotics, human-machine interaction, and wearable computing. Because the material also exhibits high electrical conductivity that does not change when stretched, it is ideal for use in power and data transmission.