How about elastic gadgets that one can wear? Sounds amazing right? It would be feasible in the near future.
Elastic technologies could make flexible garments and robotic components that human might wear to interact with computers and healing purposes in case of any health problems.
Rebecca Kramer, an assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at “Purdue University”, said that new techniques manufacturing such devices must be developed before making it commercial. She further said that we want to create stretchable electronics that might be compatible with soft machines like the robots that we have seen in many science movies, when Hero pass through narrow and irregular spaces with ease with the help of tech wearable gadgets. This wearable stuff doesn’t restrict motion hence the person can move without any problem.
On an interview, she also said, “Conductors made from liquid metal can stretch and deform without breaking.” It’s worth noting that scientist have already made closely related components that we are using already commercially like flexible solar panels and computer accessories.
Recently a technique was developed, that focus making components by using a mixture of alloys in an inkjet printer. That means, it use liquid metal instead of ink and can be printed according to the need on a flexible fabric or elastic material.
The printing ink is made by dispersing the metal in a non-metallic solvent. This is done by the use of ultrasound. The sound breaks up metal into nanoparticle. The good news is that it is fully compatible with the inkjet printer. The nanoparticles thus rejoined by applying light pressure. This is crucial as the metal previously is coated with oxidized gallium and acting as a skin, preventing electrical conductivity.
The only drawback is, it’s fragile and breaks on applying pressure resulting into uniform flat film. Kramer said, “we can do this either by stamping or by dragging something across the surface, such as sharp edge of a silicon tip.”
published in “Science Daily”
A research paper about the method will appear on April 18 in the journal Advanced Materials. The paper generally introduces the method, called mechanically sintered gallium-indium nanoparticles, and describes research leading up to the project. It was authored by postdoctoral researcher John William Boley, graduate student Edward L. White and Kramer.
It would be astonishing to see how they are going to make I happen and we as a user be using it.