SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 67 of 111

68 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2019 Summary These three categories lead the way in today's market as highly constrained and underinvested commodity components. Histor- ically, this type of market is better fitted to the memory devices that are prevalent in many electronics. The difference in the current and previous market cycles is that the situation we see today should more fittingly be classified as a trend as opposed to a typical market cycle. I say this based on the continued content expansion required by today's electronics as compared to the slow expansion of capacity. Unfortunately, it looks like our challenges to support this trend are here to stay. SMT007 Jamey Mann is the director of global supply chain for Kimball Electronics. Artificial Muscle Takes Origami to the Next Level A team of engineers from Bristol Robotics Labora- tory and Engineering Mathematics created an arti- ficial muscle technology inspired by the ancient art of origami. Their invention uses electrostatic forces that zip structures together like a zipper on a coat. These structures can be made from any combination of insu - lating and conducting materials such as metal, plastic, and even pencils and office paper. "With electro-origami, we can replace electromag- netic motors with light, scalable, silent alternatives," said Dr. Majid Taghavi, one of the inventors of the tech- nology. "Because electrostatic devices do not require high currents, they produce much less heat and can be much more efficient than electric motors." The research, published in Science Robotics, comes from the team who previously found fame with The Right Trousers project where they developed smart robotic trousers to improve the mobility of older adults and people with disabilities. Professor Jonathan Rossiter, who co-authored the study alongside Dr. Taghavi and Dr. Tim Helps at the University's SoftLab, sees many applications for this technology. "We believe electro-origami could be used in wearable devices that give you a boost in power and keep you physically independent in space applications to produce solar panels that fold away like tree leaves inside buds and even in robotic art where tactile surfaces and structures morph like living things," he said. The Bristol team aim to put electro-origami technol - ogy into products within a few years and have been awarded follow-on funding to pursue commercial appli- cations. They are already building on their impressive early-stage results to deliver the next generation of stronger, lighter, and faster electro-origami devices and artificial muscles. (Source: University of Bristol) Imagine an electrically powered device as thin as paper, as powerful as human muscle, and capable of lifting 1,000 times its own weight.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT007-Jan2019