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There are amazing advances of exponential technology taking place all the time. Every week Idea Storm brings you the latest news stories in this easy to read report. Just click on the headline or "Read article" button to open the news story that interests you.
A coalition of researchers from Zhejiang University of Technology, Tianjin University, Nanjing Institute of Technology, and Ritsumeikan University, have used 3D printing to create a soft robotic finger.
Powered by an embedded single-electrode triboelectric curvature sensor (S-TECS), the additive digit can sense bending curvature at ultralow working frequencies, without requiring an external power source. The device was produced as a proof of concept that multi-material 3D printing can not only be used to fabricate soft actuators, but also functional sensors. The researchers hope the innovation will pave the way for a simple and fast manufacturing process to produce controllable soft robotics. Read article
As lockdown measures are eased around the world, it’s more important than ever to observe proper health protocol in public. That means wearing a mask (if you can), washing your hands regularly, and social distancing. This last step can be the trickiest, but Google has released a handy augmented reality tool that makes things a little easier.
If you’ve got an Android device, just open up the Chrome browser and go to goo.gle/sodar to launch the tool, named SODAR. There’s no app required, though it won’t work on iOS or older Android devices. Your phone will use augmented reality to map the space around you, superimposing a two-meter radius circle on the view from your camera. Read article
By combining the propellers of a quadcopter with an ingenious jumping mechanism, CropHopper is able to quickly travel across fields and work for much longer than a drone. It weighs 3kg, costs € 15/ha, can operate without an operator, it can work in-crop all season and it offers the potential to also automatically treat weeds, pests and diseases.
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