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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 21, 2023
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  3. Natural muscles show tensile actuation and realize torsional rotation by combining with the skeleton, which integrate with sensing and signaling function in a single element to form a feedback loop. The currently developed artificial muscle and sensing devices always work upon external stimuli, and a separate controlling and signal transmission system is needed, increasing the complexity of muscle design. Therefore it is highly desired to develop flexible and compact fiber artificial muscles with large strain for advanced soft robotic systems. In this paper, twisted elastomer fiber artificial muscles with tensile and torsional actuations and sensing function by a single electric signal are developed, by using twisted natural rubber fiber coated with a buckled carbon nanotube sheet. The twisted natural rubber fiber can be electrothermally actuated to show contraction and rotation by entropic elasticity. The buckled carbon nanotube sheet can transmit electric current, and the contact area between the buckled carbon nanotube sheets increased during actuation, resulting in resistance decrease by thermo-piezoresistive effect. A feedback circuit was designed to connect or disconnect the electric current by measuring the resistance change to form a feedback loop to control on/off of the muscle. The current study provides a new muscle design for softmore »robotics, controllers, and human-machine integration.« less
  4. With the fast development of Industry 4.0, the ways in which manufacturing workers handle machines, materials, and products also change drastically. Such changes post several demanding challenges to the training of future workforce. First, personalized manufacturing will lead to small batch and fast changing tasks. The training procedure must demonstrate agility. Second, new interfaces to interact with human or robots will change the training procedure. Last but not least, in addition to handling the physical objects, a worker also needs to be trained to digest and respond to rich data generated at the manufacturing site. To respond to these challenges, in this paper we describe the design of an AI-assisted training platform for manufacturing workforce. The platform will collect rich data from both machines and workers. It will capture and analyze both macro and micro movement of trainees with the help of AI algorithms. At the same time, training for interaction with robot/cobot will also be covered. Mixed reality will be used to create in-situ experiences for the trainee.
  5. Cyber bullying, digital identity, impact of digital footprints, and use of inappropriate social media are topics that are gaining attention in K-12 schools. As more schools and school districts are implementing 1-1 and “bring your own technology” initiatives, attention to these topics is becoming increasingly important. A total of 593 middle school students were surveyed about digital footprints and concerns about social media. The results show that 17% started using social media at age nine or younger, 40% accepted friend requests from people they do not know, and 40% reported that their parents did not monitor their social media use, which calls for the needs of cyber-security education. These middle school students reported using social media most often to connect with their friends, share pictures, and find out what others are doing. They indicated that Instagram (27%), SnapChat (25%) and YouTube (25%) were their most used social media sites. These students have concerns about social media due to inappropriate postings, getting hacked, getting their feelings hurt, lack of privacy, inappropriate pictures, bullying, negativity, and stalkers. This study informs teachers, administrators, technology facilitators and parents on social media use by students.