Polymer device can walk when illuminated

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Polymer device can walk when illuminated

Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and Kent State University in Ohio have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light. To achieve this, the scientists clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame.

World first: new polymer goes for a walk when illuminated

When illuminated, it goes for a walk all on its own. The maximum speed of the device is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second.

World First: New Polymer Goes for a Walk When Illuminated

The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean. The researchers placed grains of sand on the strip, and these were removed by the undulating movement. The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself uphill. Watch the video. The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light while the other side expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated.

That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it.

polymer device can walk when illuminated

The team members attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then the researchers shone a concentrated LED light on it from in front. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light.

When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to walk toward the light.

The research team managed to reach this specific behavior of the material using liquid crystals, familiar in liquid crystal displays or LCDs. The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast-responding, light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network. The researchers engineered a material in such a way that this response is translated to an instantaneous deformation of the strip when illuminated and relaxation when the light is gone.

Computer simulations demonstrated the self-shadowing mechanism and explained the directionality of light-driven motion. The empirical study took place at Eindhoven University of Technology with the corresponding theoretical model being developed at Kent State.Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology and Kent State University have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light.

To this end, they clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame. The researchers publish their findings on 29 June in the scientific journal Nature. The maximum speed is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second.

polymer device can walk when illuminated

The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean. They placed grains of sand on the strip and these were removed by the undulating movement.

World first: New polymer goes for a walk when illuminated

The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself, uphill. The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light, and the other one expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated. That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it.

They attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then they shone a concentrated led light on it, from in front. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light. When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to walk towards the light. The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast responding light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network.

They engineered a material in such a way that this response is translated to an instantaneous deformation of the strip when illuminated, and relaxation directly when the light is gone. Some of the experiments by the researchers.

The walking polymer film can even push something heavy upward. Innovation Origins is an independent news platform, which has an unconventional revenue model. We are sponsored by companies that support our mission: spreading the story of innovation.

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Have you enjoyed this article so much that you want to contribute to independent journalism?Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology and Kent State University have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light. To this end, they clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame.

When illuminated it goes for a walk all on its own. This small device, the size of a paperclip, is the world's first machine to convert light directly into walking, simply using one fixed light source.

The researchers publish their findings on 29 June in the scientific journal Nature. The maximum speed is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second. The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean. They placed grains of sand on the strip and these were removed by the undulating movement. The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself, uphill.

The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light, and the other one expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated.

That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it. The scientific team, led by professor Dick Broer of Eindhoven University of Technology, was able to create a continual undulating movement, using this 'self-shadowing' effect.

They attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then they shone a concentrated led light on it, from in front. The part of the strip that is in the light, starts to bulge downward, creating a 'dent' in the strip.

As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This way the 'dent' moves backwards, creating a continual undulating movement. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light. When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to walk towards the light. The research team managed to reach this specific behavior of the material using 'liquid crystals' familiar in liquid crystal displays ; lcd's.

The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast responding light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network. They engineered a material in such a way that this response is translated to an instantaneous deformation of the strip when illuminated, and relaxation directly when the light is gone.

More from Other Physics Topics. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors.Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and Kent State University have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light. To achieve this, the scientists clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame. When illuminated, it goes for a walk all on its own. The maximum speed of the device is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second.

The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean. The researchers placed grains of sand on the strip, and these were removed by the undulating movement. The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself uphill.

The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light while the other side expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated.

That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it. Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and Kent State University in Ohio have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light.

Photo credit: Bart van Overbeeke.

Polymer Device Can 'Walk' When Illuminated

The team members attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then the researchers shone a concentrated LED light on it from in front. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light. When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to walk toward the light.

The research team managed to reach this specific behavior of the material using liquid crystals, familiar in liquid crystal displays or LCDs. The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast-responding, light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network.

The researchers engineered a material in such a way that this response is translated to an instantaneous deformation of the strip when illuminated and relaxation when the light is gone.

Computer simulations demonstrated the self-shadowing mechanism and explained the directionality of light-driven motion. The empirical study took place at Eindhoven University of Technology with the corresponding theoretical model being developed at Kent State.

National Science Foundation. Skip to main content. Live Chat. Related Articles.Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology and Kent State University have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light. To this end, they clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame. When illuminated it goes for a walk all on its own.

This small device, the size of a paperclip, is the world's first machine to convert light directly into walking, simply using one fixed light source. The researchers publish their findings on 29 June in the scientific journal Nature.

The maximum speed is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second.

polymer device can walk when illuminated

The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean. They placed grains of sand on the strip and these were removed by the undulating movement. The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself, uphill. The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light, and the other one expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated.

That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it.

The scientific team, led by professor Dick Broer of Eindhoven University of Technology, was able to create a continual undulating movement, using this 'self-shadowing' effect. They attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then they shone a concentrated led light on it, from in front.

The part of the strip that is in the light, starts to bulge downward, creating a 'dent' in the strip. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform.

polymer device can walk when illuminated

This way the 'dent' moves backwards, creating a continual undulating movement. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light. When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to walk towards the light.

The research team managed to reach this specific behavior of the material using 'liquid crystals' familiar in liquid crystal displays; lcd's. The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast responding light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network.Scientists in the Netherlands and US have created what they're calling the world's first "light powered walking device.

The tiny device, developed by scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and Kent State University in Ohio, is about the size of a paperclip and can "walk" at the speed of a caterpillar when illuminated. The device itself has just two parts: a rectangular frame and a piece of special polymer material that can "undulate and When exposed to light, one side of this new type of liquid crystal polymer contracts while the other side expands, causing it the material to "bulge.

The material looks transparent, but fully absorbs violet light, which the scientists used in their tests, creating a shadow.

The research team, led by Eindhoven University of Technology professor Dick Broer, managed to get their device to move continuously on its own using this so-called "self-shadowing" effect.

The part of the strip that is in the light starts to bulge downward, creating a 'dent' in the strip. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This way the 'dent' moves backwards, creating a continual undulating movement. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light.

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When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to move towards the light. The scientists, who published their findings today in the scientific journal Nature, say that in the future, their device could possibly be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places, or clean the surface of solar cells.

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World First: New Polymer Goes For A Walk When Illuminated

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Home news Scientists in the Netherlands and US have created what they're calling the world's first "light powered walking device.Scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology and Kent State University have developed a new material that can undulate and therefore propel itself forward under the influence of light.

To this end, they clamp a strip of this polymer material in a rectangular frame. When illuminated it goes for a walk all on its own. The maximum speed is equivalent to that of a caterpillar, about half a centimeter per second. The researchers think it can be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places or to keep the surface of solar cells clean.

They placed grains of sand on the strip and these were removed by the undulating movement. The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself, uphill. The motion of the new material is due to the fact that one side contracts in reaction to light, and the other one expands, causing it to bulge when illuminated.

That deformation disappears instantaneously once the light is gone. Although the material looks transparent to the human eye, it fully absorbs the violet light the researchers used, thus creating a shadow behind it.

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They attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself, causing it to bulge. Then they shone a concentrated led light on it, from in front.

As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light. The principle relies on the incorporation of a fast responding light-sensitive variant in a liquid crystalline polymer network.


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