Researchers at Pitt and MIT complete the first demonstration of oscillating gels. These gels, when subjected to mechanical pressure, are capable of being revived.
The robots are capable of sensing. A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Pittsburgh has presented their findings in the ‘Advanced Functional Materials’ dated March 26.
According to the researchers, similar to medical cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the non-oscillating gel can also be revived. Based on these observations, a variety of new applications can be developed. With these developments, sensing of mechanical stimuli followed by chemical response can be achieved.
The property of Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gel has been speculated by the research team at Pitt. This gel was first designed in the late 1990s. In the absence of any external stimuli, this gel is capable of pulsating.
A professor at Pitt, Anna Balazs, and her colleagues, presumed that the non-oscillating BZ gel also shows revival when subjected to mechanical pressure. Following the prediction, the MIT researchers determined that by mechanically compressing the BZ gel intensely, chemical oscillations can be activated.
Balazs says that the gel possesses signaling properties similar to the human skin. This gel is therefore considered as a boon in robotics for achieving numerous comprehensive applications. Furthermore, the gel can act as a small-scale pressure sensor that can support various diagnostic applications.
The research team under Balazs includes Olga Kuksenok, Victor Yashin. Krystyn Van Vliet is a MIT researcher.