Pressure sensors in use today are fairly capable, being sufficiently flexible to adhere to uneven surfaces like human skin. However, once they're twisted more significantly, they're unable to accurately keep track of pressure changes. Now, researchers from the University of Tokyo have come up with a much more versatile option, creating a new sensor that's thinner than its rivals, and that can continue to sense pressure even when curved over a tiny radius.
Before flexible electronic devices can become commonplace, there needs to be a practical way of manufacturing reliable stretchable circuitry. While some solutions are already in development, Panasonic recently announced one of its own – a soft, flexible polymer resin film combined with transparent electrodes and a conductive paste.
A highly-flexible yellow-tinged white-light LED created at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan combines off-the-shelf parts with novel design patterns. The LEDs produce a uniform sheet of light and could soon find use in curved and flexible TVs and wearable displays.
A new conductive, transparent, and stretchable nanomaterial that folds
up like an accordion could one day be applied to the development of
flexible electronics and wearable sensors, as well as stretchable
displays. The researchers at North Carolina State University who created
this "nano-accordion" structure caution that it is early days yet, but
they hope to find ways to improve its conductivity and eventually scale
it up for commercial or industrial use.
(EL) panels are found in many electronics applications, particularly
as backlighting for LCD displays, keypads, watches, and other areas
requiring uniform, low-power illumination. While relatively flexible,
when EL panels made from
plastic are bent too sharply, fractures and a severely diminished
output usually result. As a result,
EL panels have generally been restricted to flat or slightly curved
surfaces. However, researchers from Karlsruhe
Institute of Technology (KIT) and
Franz Binder GmbH & Co have now developed a new manufacturing process to print
EL panels directly onto the surface of almost any convex and concave shape. Even, apparently, onto spheres.
When surgeons are trying to operate on hard-to-reach organs, they'll
often have to make multiple incisions to get at the area from different
angles, or use tools such as retractors to pull other tissue out of the
way. A team of researchers from Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced
Studies, however, is developing an alternative – a flexible octopus arm-inspired tool that can squirm its way between organs, then hold them back while simultaneously operating.