AI News, Moisture-responsive 'robots' crawl with no external power source

Moisture-responsive 'robots' crawl with no external power source

'The development of smart materials such as moisture-responsive graphene oxide is of great importance to automation and robotics,' said Yong-Lai Zhang of Jilin University, China, and leader of the research team.

In the journal Optical Materials Express, from The Optical Society (OSA), the researchers reported that graphene oxide sheets treated with brief exposure to bright light in the form of a camera flash exhibited reversible bending at angles from zero to 85 degrees in response to switching the relative humidity between 33 and 86 percent.

Although other materials can change shape in response to moisture, the researchers experimented with graphene-based materials because they are incredibly thin and have unique properties such as flexibility, conductivity, mechanical strength and biocompatibility.

For example, the material's excellent biocompatibility could allow moisture-responsive graphene oxide to be used in organ-on-a-chip systems that simulate the mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and are used for drug discovery and other biomedical research.

When moisture is present, the reduced side of the graphene oxide absorbs fewer water molecules, causing the non-reduced side to expand and the sheet to bend toward the reduced side.

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