Thursday July 19, 2018

Colour-Changing e-skin to have Robotics Uses: Chinese Scientists

The research can have applications in robotics, prosthetics and wearable technology

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Chinese researchers have developed a user-interactive electronic skin that can change colour and it can have uses in robotics
Chinese researchers have developed a user-interactive electronic skin that can change colour -- an ability associated with animals such as chameleons, octopuses and squid and it can uses in robotics. Wikimedia
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  • Chinese researchers have developed a user-interactive electronic skin that can change colour
  • The changes are perceptible to the human eye without much strain
  • The researchers employed flexible electronics made from graphene, in the form of a highly-sensitive resistive strain sensor, combined with a stretchable organic electrochromic device

Beijing, July 26, 2017: Chinese researchers have developed a user-interactive electronic skin that can change colour — an ability associated with animals such as chameleons, octopuses and squid. The changes are perceptible to the human eye without much strain.

Though science has been able to replicate these abilities with artificial skin, the colour changes are often only visible to the naked eye when the material is put under huge mechanical strain.

The research conducted by Tsinghua University in Beijing can have applications in robotics, prosthetics and wearable technology.

“This user-interactive e-skin should be promising for applications in wearable devices, robots and prosthetics in the future,” the study mentioned.

ALSO READHas The Chinese Government Done Enough to Assist Victims of ‘Comfort Women’ System?

The researchers employed flexible electronics made from graphene, in the form of a highly-sensitive resistive strain sensor, combined with a stretchable organic electrochromic device.

“To obtain good performance with a simple process and reduced cost, we designed a modulus-gradient structure to use graphene as both the highly sensitive strain-sensing element and the insensitive stretchable electrode of the ECD layer,” said Tingting Yang from Tsinghua University, in a paper published in the journal 2D Materials.

The researchers found that subtle strain — between zero and 10 per cent — was enough to cause an obvious colour change, and the RGB value of the colour quantified the magnitude of the applied strain.

The study noted that the capability for interactive colour changes with such a small strain range has been rarely reported before. (IANS)

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India Is Developing Technologies To Launch Manned Mission

The state-run ISRO’s technology demonstrator is the first in a series of tests to qualify as a crew escape system, critical for a manned mission.

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India’s dream to put a man in space
India’s dream to put a man in space. Pixabay

India is developing critical technologies for launching manned missions in space and preparing a document on it, a top official said on Saturday.

“Critical technologies are being developed for our human space programme as it is India’s dream to put a man in space. A mission document is in the making,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan told the media at an aerospace event here.

Citing the space agency’s successful maiden unmanned pad abort test on Thursday at its Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh for the safe escape of the crew in an emergency, Sivan said that very complex technology was used for the trial, with a unique motor for fast-burning.

“The technology is very essential for our manned missions in the future, as the motor’s performance was very good. Using aerodynamics, the module was turned in a favourable direction to open the parachutes,” he said.

The state-run ISRO’s technology demonstrator is the first in a series of tests to qualify as a crew escape system, critical for a manned mission.

“We are only in the preparation stage. We need to develop much more. We are in the process of refining a document on the manned mission for review and interactions with stakeholders, including the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL),” said Sivan.

The crew escape system is an emergency escape measure designed to quickly pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort.

The first pad abort test demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” ISRO said in a statement earlier.

Admitting that the scientists had to work on the next strategy for the manned mission testing, Sivan said ISRO’s work was two-pronged, with one on approved projects and the other for research and development (R&D).

The first pad abort test demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” ISRO said in a statement earlier.
The first pad abort test demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” ISRO said in a statement earlier. Flickr

“The pad abort test for the crew escape system is part of our R&D work,” he noted. The space agency also tested five new technologies during the pad abort test, as part of its strategy to develop long-term technologies.

“We and the government work on a three-year plan, with a seven-year strategy and a 15-year vision,” asserted Sivan.

Noting that space tourism would happen in the near future, the rocket scientist said it would take at least 15 years to develop the vehicle to go to space and return to the earth.

“We are not close to that. We need to work a lot towards achieving the dream of putting a man into space,” added Sivan.

After a five-hour countdown, the crew escape system lifted off with the 12.6 tonne simulated crew module from the spaceport and plunged into the sea (Bay of Bengal) 4 minutes and 19 seconds later with two parachutes, around 2.9 km away from Sriharikota, about 90km northeast of Chennai.

Also read: NASA Scientists Map Water on Moon Using India’s Chandrayaan-1 Spacecraft!

“The crew module soared 2.7 km altitude on thrust of its seven solid motors without exceeding the safe G (gravity) levels,” added the statement. (IANS)