Posted April. 11, 2017 07:13,
Updated April. 11, 2017 07:21
Korean researchers have developed fabrics that alter their shapes in a controllable manner in response to varied temperature. It can be the beginning of developing soft robots that move without motors.
According to a research team led by Professor Ahn Sung-hoon at Seoul National University, the developed fabrics are responsive to heat or electric current by using knitting patterns and move without motors. Such morphing materials are the results of knitting fabrics with fibers wrapped around shape memory alloys. They returned to the pre-deformed shape after alteration when heated at a certain temperature.
The researchers successfully created the process of blooming knitted lilies by controlling the applied current and by blowing hot air onto each of five petals. Wires are deformed and each petal was actuated as temperature rises by heat or applied current.
The direction of deformation changes according to the knitting pattern. The research team also created the process of blooming of daffodils, gamopetalous, and calla flowers with different knitting patterns. "Bending-twisting, and linear motions are available by structuring knitted morphing flowers at customized directions and the size of 3D structure can also be changed," Professor Ahn said. "It can be applied to multiple types of fabrics such as soft robots, functional textiles, and wearable deices.”
The result was included on the academic journal "Advanced Materials" published on April 4.