Inventing the Future
Applying Microrobotics in Endodontic Treatment and Diagnostics
In a proof-of-concept study, researchers from Penn Dental Medicine and its Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD), have shown that microrobots can access the difficult to reach surfaces of the root canal with controlled precision, treating and disrupting biofilms and even retrieving samples for diagnostics, enabling a more personalized treatment plan. The Penn team shared their findings on the use of two different microrobotic platforms for endodontic therapy in the August issue of the Journal of Dental Research; the work was selected for the issue’s cover.
Legged Robots to Aid with Planetary Research
GRASP Lab alumna Feifei Qian, along with Engineering professors Daniel Koditschek and Douglas Jerolmack, is studying how legged robots can better navigate unknown terrain. They hope to integrate robotics technology with planetary and cognitive science. The three-year $3-million research project is funded by NASA, and could significantly enhance scientists’ abilities to gather information from distant worlds.
Soft ‘Rotini’ Robots Navigate with a Snap
Shu Yang, Chair and Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and team have developed soft robots made of liquid crystal elastomers that are capable of navigating complex environments, such as mazes, without input from humans or computer software.
Swarm of 3D Printing Drones to Assist Manufacturing in Building and Repairing Structures
GRASP Lab affiliate faculty Robert Stuart-Smith and colleagues have created a swarm of bee-inspired drones, that can collectively 3D print material while in flight, allowing limitless manufacturing for building and repairing structures. The drone fleet, known as Aerial Additive Manufacturing (Aerial-AM), works cooperatively from a single blueprint, adapting their techniques as they go.