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The Lead

Simple sewing machine has high-tech role in future “soft” machines

June 3, 2014 7:50 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

The humble sewing machine could play a key role in creating "soft" robotics, wearable electronics and implantable medical systems made of elastic materials that are capable of extreme stretching. New stretchable technologies could lead to innovations including robots that have human-like sensory skin and synthetic muscles and flexible garments that people might wear to interact with computers or for therapeutic purposes.

DuPont drops Kevlar lawsuit against Easton-Bell

March 28, 2013 1:45 pm | by RANDALL CHASE - AP Business Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

DuPont Co. has dropped a federal lawsuit accusing sports equipment maker Easton-Bell Sports of...

Northwestern researchers create “rubber-band electronics”

July 3, 2012 3:32 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Northwestern University, working with a team of scientists from the United States...

Civil engineers find savings where the rubber meets the road

May 23, 2012 3:44 am | by Denise Brehm, Civil and Environmental Engineering | News | Comments

A new study by civil engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that using stiffer...

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Gumby-like flexible robot crawls in tight spaces

December 1, 2011 5:12 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The Harvard University laboratory of chemist George M. Whitesides, R&D Magazine ’s 2007 Scientist of the Year, has produced a new type of flexible robot that calls to mind the clay animation character Gumby. It can wiggle and squirm through tight spaces much like the squid and starfish that inspired researchers to design it.

Making materials to order

May 26, 2011 4:01 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A team of researchers at MIT has found a way to make complex composite materials whose attributes can be fine-tuned to give various desirable combinations of properties such as stiffness, strength, resistance to impacts, and energy dissipation.

Russian dandelions could be new source for rubber

May 11, 2011 5:51 am | by R&D Editors | News | Comments

As a raw material, petroleum is risky because its pricing is so volatile. By domesticating a Russian variety of dandelion and using the milky-white substance that seeps from its roots, researchers from Ford and Ohio State University believe they can create a new source of natural rubber for cupholders, floor mats, and interior trim in its cars.

Strong and Pliable, 50 Years On

January 31, 2009 7:00 pm | by Dawn Duncan, Lubrizol Advanced Materials | Articles | Comments

Even today, the flexibility of thermoplastic polyurethanes is testing manufacturers’ ability to find new applications and processing methods.

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