Researchers at the Oregon State University have argued that as the burgeoning field of material robotics leads to new innovative products, our everyday utensils may not even look like robots and yet perform the tasks restlessly and accurately. In a recent viewpoint study published in the Science Robotics, leader scientist Yiğit Mengüç and his three associates have anticipated that future robots will move beyond the assumption that they are merely machines that run on a software to perform a physical activity.
Instead, a third path will be paved, in which intelligence of the robots will make them capable of adapting to new tasks and perform a better job. For instance, Yiğit Mengüç and his team reflect on robotic shoes that can support gait, bring changes in stiffness accordingly to when you are running or just walking. Those shoes will also be able to aid to the biomechanics of the feet as per the surface underneath. The essence of the new material robotics enabled products would be to self-adjust.
Another example can be smartphones, wherein autocorrect is a very simple and yet a common example of artificial intelligence (AI), and now it is ubiquitous without us even noticing while using it every day. The researchers have suggested that future smartphones can be stretchable and foldable, preventing from the dangers of shattering as well as prompting an integration into the human body. The change of structure will also be able to help the display and aid in communication.
Much of this innovation will depend on material scientists who will have to find bulk materials that can inherent multi-functionality and components can be integrated.