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Tiny silver flakes can improve conductivity in soft robots

Soft robotics have long been one of the more exciting categories among emerging technologies. Of course, as with most new tech, the field has some drawbacks over more traditional models. While they improve flexibility and complains over their more rigid counterparts, robots made of soft materials have often had an issue delivering electrical connectivity. In many cases, water and air-filled bladders are used to helped facilitate movement.
New research out of Carnegie Mellon University points to a method that could help increase conductivity in soft materials like hydrogels, without compromising the compliance at the core of the material’s appeal.

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