26 Results for 'Environment'
Nanoarchitectures for air purification
Illnesses caused by air pollution are the third-leading cause of death in developing nations, and over 5 million people worldwide die every year from air pollution exposure. Catalytic converters, the most widely used air purification devices, convert the toxic gases and pollutants produced by fuel combustion into benign chemicals before the exhaust is released into...
Shrilk Biodegradable Plastic
Wyss Institute researchers have developed a fully degradable bioplastic by isolating a material called chitosan found in shrimp shells and forming a laminate with silk fibroin protein that mimics the microarchitecture of natural insect cuticle. The new material, called “Shrilk”, can be used to manufacture objects without the environmental threat posed by conventional synthetic plastics,...
Programmable Robot Swarms
Collective behaviors enable animals like ants to achieve remarkable, colony-level feats through the distributed actions of millions of independent agents. These collective behaviors are inspiring engineers at the Wyss Institute to build simple mobile robots that harness the demonstrated power of the swarm, performing collective tasks like transporting large objects or autonomously building human-scale structures....
Autonomous Flying Microrobots (RoboBees)
Inspired by the biology of a bee, researchers at the Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees, manmade systems that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief. A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less that one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” compromised of materials that contract when...
Oct 24, 2016, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
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As we bring robots out of the laboratory and into the world at large, one of the most important lessons we learn from nature goes beyond how to tolerate, to also include how to exploit interactions with materials and surfaces in the environment. Nature offers many examples of structures and functional materials that help to... Free and open to public
Video/AnimationCatalytic Nanoarchitectures for Clean AirThe Wyss Institute is developing a new type of coating for catalytic converters that, inspired by the nanoscale structure of a butterfly’s wing, can dramatically reduce the cost and improve the performance of air purification technologies, making them more accessible to all. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Video/AnimationFouling Marine FoulingMarine fouling occurs when organisms attach themselves to underwater objects like boats, rope, pipes and building structures. Mussels are one of the biggest culprits. Once attached, they are difficult to remove, leading to operational downtime, increased energy use and damage. Paints and coatings are currently used to prevent marine fouling, but are frequently toxin-based and not...
Video/AnimationRobobee: Saving Energy While in the AirThe RoboBee, pioneered at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab, uses an electrode patch and a foam mount that absorbs shock to perch on surfaces and conserve energy in flight. Credit: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)
Video/AnimationEfficient Recovery of Stem Cell SheetsSee in this video how an intact sheet of mesenchymal stem cells, stained with a violet dye, can be lifted off the infused polymer substrate in the culture dish using a filter paper and transferred to a new surface. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Video/AnimationSoft Robotic Grippers For Deep-Sea ExplorationIn this video, two types of soft robotic grippers are shown successfully collecting coral samples at the bottom of the Red Sea. The first gripper features opposing pairs of bending actuators, while the second gripper – inspired by the coiling action of a boa constrictor – can access tight spaces and clutch small and irregular...
Video/Animation4D Printing: Shapeshifting ArchitecturesA team at the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS has developed a new microscale printing method to create transformable objects. These “4D-printed” objects go a step beyond 3D printing to incorporate a fourth dimension: time. The method was inspired by the way plants change shape over time in response to environmental stimuli. This orchid-shaped structure...