Scientists develop robots that simulate the human body’s way of storing energy

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A team of scientists at the University of Michigan has created biological batteries that allow robots to store energy in a manner similar to how the human body stores energy in fat reserves, and the new technology relies on increasing the capacity of the robots’ battery by simulating the energy sources distributed in living organisms, which saves more energy than lithium-ion batteries Traditional.

“Robots’ designs are subject to limitations, because they need batteries that take up 20 percent or more of the available space in the robot, or a similar percentage of its weight,” said Nicholas Kotoff, a professor of engineering at the University of Michigan and the leader of the research team, according to Eureka Alert..

“Energy storage of robots can be increased 72 times when replacing the outer parts with zinc batteries, compared to having a single lithium-ion battery,” said Ming Chiang Wang, lead author of the paper published by Science Robotics. “This technology provides a wider design horizon, while performing the functions. Multiple at once. “

Ahmed Emri, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering, noted that the new batteries perform two tasks: Energy storage and protection of robot parts, to simulate the multiple functions of fatty tissue that stores energy in living things.

Kotov said: “There is no concentration here of all energy in one place, but we followed the method found in nature; storing energy in several places, to obtain the efficiency of vital organs.”

The mechanism of the battery’s work is based on passing hydroxide ions between an electrode of zinc and air through a special membrane coated with aramid nanofibers, and these materials are found in bulletproof vests made of Kevlar, and aqueous polymer gels, which are of low toxicity, which makes zinc batteries The new is more green than lithium-ion batteries.

The weakness of the new batteries lies in the small number of charge cycles, which do not exceed a hundred cycles, which is less than the number of charging cycles of lithium-ion batteries, but in return they are characterized by their low cost and ability to be recycled..

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