Guest Speaker - November 14, 11:00am via DCO: Barry Ives, MC10 Inc. Topic: Flexible Printed Electronics
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MC10 Inc. is a venture-backed advanced materials company based on the stretchable electronics technology developed by Dr. John Rogers of the University of Illinois. The company’s proprietary technology platform enables high performance silicon devices to become bendable and stretchable, ideal for developing sensors or circuits in conformal or space-constrained form factors for revolutionary military, medical device and consumer electronics applications.
With its current team, the company has built a government business that has three elements: 1) dual use opportunities for the DoD and other agencies to become customers for commercial products mc10 is currently developing; 2) government customers with new product needs that can be enabled by our technology; and 3) non-dilutive funding to support the further development of mc10 technology and the associated advanced manufacturing technology that will have strategic benefit to national security.
The Director of Advanced Programs supports and grow all three of these elements, with a particular focus on the third element of our government business: the identification and securing of government funded programs to advance our technology and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
To date MC10 has already secured multiple grants with different government agencies and successfully delivered on those programs. Success will be measured by the ability to leverage current contacts with the DoD and DoE and further grow our government business by identifying, securing, and executing new programs.
Download an NMCI friendly mp4 from MC10 below.
Today's Articles: 3D printed microbatteries, Printed Liquid Metals, Bio Inspired Sensors and Self Assembling Swarm Robots.
Tiny 3D-Printed Microbattery Offers Big Power
"3-D printers can now do more than make dust-collecting doodads. Researchers have developed a method of producing powerful microbatteries using these trendy contraptions.
Developed by a team of researchers at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, these lithium-ion microbatteries are no bigger than a grain of sand but hold as much energy as their much larger counterparts.
"The electrochemical performance is comparable to commercial batteries in terms of charge and discharge rate, cycle life and energy density," said Shen Dillon, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "We're just able to achieve this on a much smaller scale.""
Terminator 2-style liquid metal can now be 3D printed
"It's not quite as advanced as in Terminator 2, but a way of 3D printing liquid metal could offer a new range of flexible electronics.
An alloy of metals gallium and indium that is liquid at room temperature forms a thin skin when exposed to air, which is strong enough to hold the liquid's shape.
"The fact that they are liquid means you could surround them with another material like rubber to make metallic structures that you can stretch and deform," says Dickey. This would be useful for creating bendy electronics. The team also created towers of liquid metal droplets, all held together by the skin, illustrating how the metal can form 3D structures."
Blind cave fish inspires sensing system for autonomous underwater vehicles
"Ordinarily, AUVs use cameras, sonar, or an underwater acoustic positioning system. Cameras aren’t much use in murky water, however – and a lot of the world’s water bodies are murky. Sonar and acoustics are better in such situations, but the hardware can be expensive, and taxing on the AUV’s batteries.
Instead, the system utilizes an array consisting of two rows of five sensors (yes, we know there are four rows in the picture – it's presumably two joined arrays). Each sensor measures just 1.8 x 1.8 mm and consists of a microscopic sensory pillar surrounded by hydrogel, that bends with changes in the water pressure. Combined with a computer vision system, the arrays reportedly allow Nanyang’s AUVs to create 3D images of nearby objects, and to map their surroundings."
'Terminator'-style cube robots swarm and self-assemble
"If you look down and see a series of colorful cubes crawling toward you, don't panic. It's not Tetris come to real life, but rather the creation of robotics researchers at MIT. The M-Blocks robots are cube-shaped modular bots with no external moving parts. Nonetheless, they can move, crawl over each other, and self-assemble.
The secret to the robots' movements lies under the skin. Each little cube hides a small flywheel that can hit speeds of 20,000 revolutions per minute. Magnets embedded in strategic locations help the M-Blocks stick together."