Smart foam gives robots sense of touch and ability to self-repair


Smart foam, with the ability to perform these functions, can potentially make robots more intelligent and interactive, as well as improve robotic motion, according to researchers at the National University of Singapore.

Electronic materials are currently being used in some robotic products, but they aren’t easily rechargeable. For example, rechargeable lithium ion batteries are available, but recharge time is still 10 hours or more, which is beyond the capacity of most autonomous machines. In addition, the batteries that are currently used are heavy and weigh 40 pounds, making the robots too heavy to lift. The researchers wanted to make the batteries re-chargeable and, at the same time, lightweight.

The researchers wanted to make the batteries re-chargeable and, at the same time, lightweight. The battery weighs less than 2 ounces, about the same weight as a 9-volt battery, and has the power to fully re-charge in 30 minutes. It’s also smaller than existing batteries in use. A photo of the re-charged battery shows it is twice as powerful as a standard lithium ion battery. Rechargeable batteries have more than three times the energy density and 10 times the power density, meaning they are more efficient and useful for longer periods of time. According to UES Global's report, lithium-ion batteries account for more than 99 percent of total energy storage installed in electric vehicles. A 2014 Nissan Leaf with a nickel-metal hydride battery, the only type on the market at the time, was able to travel 238 miles on a full charge. By comparison, an average Tesla Model S can travel 253 miles on a full charge. UES Global estimates that global sales of electric vehicles will reach 4.1 million units this year, representing a compound annual

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