Skip to main content

mechanical and aerospace engineering

May 3, 2024

When Injecting Pure Spin into Chiral Materials, Direction Matters

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Pittsburgh studied how the spin information of an electron, called a pure spin current, moves through chiral materials. They found that the direction in which the spins are injected into chiral materials affects their ability to pass through them. These chiral “gateways” could be used… 

black-and-white video still shows a ringlike object in a square space that has one gap for an entrance. A bright white line shows the path that the object has taken in tracing the contours of the space.

Jan 8, 2024

New Soft Robots Roll Like Tires, Spin Like Tops and Orbit Like Moons

The device, which operates without human or computer control, holds promise for developing technologies that can be used to navigate unknown environments. 

illustration shows two pieces of metal foam being welded together using an induction welder. Several inches away from the site of the weld (which is white hot), the metal foam is cool enough to touch with a bare hand.

Dec 14, 2023

Researchers Find Way to Weld Metal Foam Without Melting Its Bubbles

Traditional welding impairs the qualities that make metal foams desirable. Now researchers have found a solution. 

Oct 17, 2023

Seeing the Invisible: Revealing Hidden Damage With Cameras To Improve Aircraft Safety

The project seeks to use cameras to find damage that lies beneath an aircraft’s surface. 

image shows two long, twisted strands of clear polymer

Sep 8, 2023

‘Brainless’ Robot Can Navigate Complex Obstacles

Researchers who created a soft robot that could navigate simple mazes without computer direction have built on that work, creating a “brainless” robot that can navigate more complex environments. 

photo shows several caterpillar robots bent in different poses, demonstrating how they move forward and backward

Mar 22, 2023

Robot Caterpillar Demonstrates New Approach to Locomotion for Soft Robotics

The caterpillar-like soft robot that can move forward, backward and dip under narrow spaces. 

logo of the national academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine

Mar 15, 2023

Xu Participates in NASEM Meeting of Experts

Cheryl Xu presented on the characterization of material’s electromagnetic and infrared properties at high temperatures. 

Ankit Negi holds a PMN-PT crystal, like those used in the research. Standing with him is study co-author Hwang Pill Kim.

Feb 22, 2023

Study Offers Details on Using Electric Fields to Tune Thermal Properties of Ferroelectric Materials

The work allows engineers to manipulate the flow of heat through ferroelectric materials, which are used in many devices. 

illustration shows cross-section of a clogged blood vessel, with blue lines representing the vortex ultrasound clearing the clot

Jan 23, 2023

New Tool Uses Ultrasound ‘Tornado’ to Break Down Blood Clots

The new tool was designed to reduce health risks for patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. 

image contains four photos with various angles on the complex sensor described in the attached story

Jan 3, 2023

Researchers Demonstrate New Strain Sensors in Health Monitoring, Machine Interface Tech

The new stretchable strain sensor that has an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and range. 

image includes six photos of circuits printed on curved surfaces, including a contact lens

Nov 21, 2022

Technique Prints Flexible Circuits on Curved Surfaces, From Contact Lenses to Latex Gloves

The printing technique paves the way for a variety of new soft electronic technologies. 

black and white image shows a gloved hand holding a small winged robot; small images on the side show the robot going through a range of motions, similar to swimming

Nov 18, 2022

‘Butterfly Bot’ is Fastest Swimming Soft Robot Yet

These energy-efficient soft robots can swim more than four times faster than previous swimming soft robots. 

twisted loop of transparent fiber pulls a sled-like object across a grey surface

Nov 15, 2022

Autonomous Crawling Soft ‘Ringbots’ Can Navigate Narrow Gaps

The ring-shaped soft robot crawls across surfaces when exposed to elevated temperatures or infrared light. 

beads of water on a slick surface

Oct 10, 2022

Study Opens Door to New Class of Slippery, Water-Loving Surfaces

The work runs counter to conventional wisdom regarding slippery materials, and suggests a new area of research for the field. 

twisted clear polymer "soft robot" lies next to a rotini pasta noodle

May 23, 2022

Twisted Soft Robots Navigate Mazes Without Human Or Computer Guidance

The soft robots demonstrate a concept called "physical intelligence."