The Bayesian experimental autonomous researcher (BEAR) robotics laboratory at Canada's University of Toronto has discovered the most energy-absorbent mechanical structure ever.
Boston University's Keith Brown said he and his colleagues built a system that designs and tests mechanical structures, then designs and tests additional structures based on those results.
BEAR includes five three-dimensional printers that can fabricate seven different types of plastics, a set of scales, a testing machine that compresses and measures the response of each plastic-produced structure, and a robotic arm and a computer vision system to manipulate samples.
The researchers found a structure dubbed Willow exhibited 73.3% average energy-absorbing efficiency, beating balsa wood's 71.8% efficiency, when made from the PLA variety of polyester.
From New Scientist
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