PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Mar2018

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56 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2018 tor but shifting the focal point. AVI is not self- aware (yet), so we still need to tell the ma- chines how to perform the task and review the outputs generated just like any automated process. It still must be monitored for accura- cy, repeatability and stability. However, for the tedious task of squinting at a PCB for hours on end attempting to identify all possible sur- face defects, we can leave that to the AVI as it doesn't tire and its eyes don't strain! PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is the vice president of quality for Gardien Services USA, and an expert in electrical test and reliabil- ity issues. To read past columns, or to contact Kolmodin, click here. Researchers at Harvard University have built soft robots inspired by nature that can crawl, swim, grasp delicate objects and even assist a beating heart, but none of these devices can sense and respond to the world around them. That's about to change. Inspired by our bod- ies' sensory capabili- ties, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paul- son School of Engineer- ing and Applied Scienc- es (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a platform for cre- ating soft robots with embedded sensors that can sense movement, pressure, touch, and even temperature. "Our research represents a foundational advance in soft robotics," said Ryan Truby, first author of the paper and recent Ph.D. graduate at SEAS. "Our manufacturing platform enables complex sensing motifs to be easily integrated into soft robotic systems." Integrating sensors within soft robots has been difficult in part because most sensors in traditional electronics are rigid. This technique—known as embedded 3D printing—seamlessly and quickly integrates multiple features and materials within a single soft body. Novel 3D Printing Method Embeds Sensing Capabilities within Robotic Actuators Figure 2: AVI display 2.

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