Polymer Twists and Bends in the Presence of Light
- Magazine Article
The twisting and bending capabilities of the human muscle system enable a dynamic range of motion, from walking and running to reaching and grasping. Replicating in a robot something as seemingly simple as waving a hand, however, requires a complex series of motors, pumps, actuators, and algorithms. Researchers have designed a polymer, known as a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE), that can be “programmed” to twist and bend in the presence of light.