Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have a hard time accounting for the friction that occurs when those robots grip objects – particularly in wet environments. Researchers have now discovered a new law of physics that accounts for this type of friction, which should advance a wide range of robotic technologies. (more…)
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ANN ARBOR— A dollop of hair gel might not look like much, but Michigan Engineering researchers have found that it’s a labyrinth of chambers and domes, constructed by the particles inside. These structures allow the gel to hold its shape and determine how much pressure it can withstand before it starts to flow.
While manufacturers currently use trial and error to develop gels with a particular degree of solidity, this discovery could provide a way to design gels for particular applications. (more…)