3D printed smart gel is created by a group of engineers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick which can walk underwater and can grab objects and move them as well.

This smart gel can be used to make soft robots that can copy behavior of other underwater animals such as octopus. As we all know what an octopus does, in a same way this smart gel could be utilized to do the same. This watery creation can also lead to artificial heart, stomach and other muscles.

The smart gel is flexible, easy to design, mechanically strong, can be miniaturized and is cheap in manufacturing it.

3D printed smart gel is created by a group of engineers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick which can walk underwater and can grab objects and move them as well.

This smart gel can be used to make soft robots that can copy behavior of other underwater animals such as octopus. As we all know what an octopus does, in a same way this smart gel could be utilized to do the same. This watery creation can also lead to artificial heart, stomach and other muscles.

The smart gel is flexible, easy to design, mechanically strong, can be miniaturized and is cheap in manufacturing it.

The 3D printed hydrogel when activated by electricity can move and change its shape. This hydrogel has 70% of water and despite of this, it stays in solid state. These hydrogels are found in the human body, diapers, contact lenses, Jell-O and many other things.

The gel is formed by throwing light on a light-sensitive solution. This gel is then placed in electrolyte solution and then electricity is applied in these two wires of thinner cross section for motion triggering. The motion performed by this gel are: walking forward, reversing course and grabbing and moving objects, as said by the researcher of this study. The hydrogel is almost one inch tall.

Howon Lee is the senior author of this new study and an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

He stated that this 3D printed smart gel has great potential in the field of biomedical engineering as this hydrogel resembles tissues in the human body that also contain lots of water and is very soft. This hydrogel can also be used to mimic as octopus of the underwater, he said further.

Authors:

  1. Bunty B. Bommera
  2. Dakshata U. Kamble

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