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Engineers create 3D printed smart objects with ’embodied logic’

Written by David

January 30, 2019

In nature, there are countless examples of motion in organisms that don’t have brains or nervous systems, such as the Venus flytrap. It closes when prey goes inside, but it also opens if it accidentally shuts on something that can’t be digested; all of this motion is caused by tissues that react to pressure and the presence of certain chemicals. Inspired by such systems, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science have now 3D printed objects that make definable motions when exposed to specific stimuli, all without the use of electronic sensors or microprocessors. The team designed and 3D printed structures with “embodied logic ,” which is a material-driven if/then logic gate. This is possible because of the geometric changes that various materials undergo when exposed to certain stimuli. For example, many materials absorb water and expand. In logic that would translate to: if […]

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