Stanford Exoskeleton Released Into the “Wild”

The Stanford Biomechatronics Laboratory’s exoskeleton emulators — lab-based robotic devices that help wearers walk and run faster with less effort — have been released into the real world with the first untethered exoskeleton. This exoskeleton personalizes assistance as people walk normally through the real world. The robotic boot has a motor that works with calf muscles to give the wearer an extra push with every step.

A ‘Magnetic Tentacle Robot’ Finds Path to the Lungs

Engineers have created a robot that’s able to reach the smallest bronchial tubes in the lungs. Just 2 mm in diameter, the “magnetic tentacle robot” takes sample tissue and delivers cancer therapy. The magnetic tentacle robot has been developed to be maneuverable and uses a robotic guidance system that is personalized for each procedure. The system uses an autonomous magnetic guidance system that eliminated the need for patients to be x-rayed during the procedure.

Shape-Changing Microrobots Target Cancer Cells

Guided by magnets, fish-shaped microrobots can be directed to cancer cells, where a pH change triggers the release of their chemotherapy cargo. The researchers 4D printed microrobots in the shape of a crab, butterfly, or fish using a pH-responsive hydrogel. By adjusting the printing density at certain areas of the shape, the team encoded pH-responsive shape morphing. Then, they made the microrobots magnetic by placing them in a suspension of iron oxide nanoparticles.

Soft Sensor Handles the Pressure

A Texas engineering research team is solving the problem of pressure-related disruptions in wearable pressure sensors. They did it by innovating a first-ever hybrid sensing approach that allows the device to possess properties of the two predominant types of sensors in use today. They utilized an electrically conductive and highly porous nanocomposite as the sensing layer and added an extra insulating layer to the sensor.