New electronic material for soft robots

New electronic material for soft robots
© New electronic material for soft robots

Imagine a flexible digital screen that is repaired on its own when it breaks, or a bright robot that detects survivors in dark, dangerous environments, or does dangerous jobs: These visions may become a reality thanks to the work of NUS (National University of Singapore) researchers who developed a groundbreaking material.

This new flexible material, when used in light-emitting capacitors, allows for possible illumination at much lower operating voltages, while also being damage-resistant thanks to its self-repair/self-healing capabilities.

HELIOS (Healable, Low-field Illumination Optoelectronic Stretchable) is the fruit of the work of Assistant Professor Benjamin Tee and his team.

“Conventional flexible optoelectronic materials require high voltage and high frequencies to achieve visible brightness, limiting portability and functional lifespan. Such materials are difficult to use safely and quietly in human-machine interfaces”,

Tee said.

The researchers started working on the project in 2018 and developed HELIOS a year later.

HELIOS devices can be activated at voltages four times lower than existing flexible, light capacitors, and achieve 20 times greater brightness.

Also, thanks to low energy consumption, they have a longer working life, can be used safely in human-machine interfaces and powered wirelessly, in order to better portability.

HELIOS is also very resistant to cracks and cracks: Reversible bonds between the molecules of the material can be broken and reshaped, so that the material can be cured on its own under normal environmental conditions.
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