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Materials Science - Microtechnics - 08.11.2022
The VR glove from the 3D printer
The VR glove from the 3D printer
Together with EPFL and ETH Zurich colleagues, an Empa team is developing next-generation VR gloves that will make virtual worlds tangible. The glove is to be tailored to each user and capable of being produced largely automatically - using a 3D printing process. Research sometimes needs a sacrifice.

Innovation - Microtechnics - 21.09.2022
A swarm of 3D printing drones for construction and repair
A swarm of 3D printing drones for construction and repair
An international research team led by drone expert Mirko Kovac of Empa and Imperial College London has taken bees as a model to develop a swarm of cooperative, 3D-printing drones. Under human control, these flying robots work as a team to print 3D materials for building or repairing structures while flying, as the scientists report in the cover story of the latest issue of Nature.

Microtechnics - Environment - 14.06.2022
A drone that can both fly and dive
A drone that can both fly and dive
A new dual drone can both fly and land on water to take aquatic samples and monitor water quality, for example. The drone was developed by researchers at Imperial College London and Empa and recently tested together with researchers at the aquatic research institute Eawag for the first time on Lake Zurich.

Environment - Microtechnics - 19.05.2022
A drone for ultrafast transitions between air and water
A drone for ultrafast transitions between air and water
A new robot is capable of switching from an underwater drone to an aerial vehicle in less than one second. The robot also features a suction disc inspired by the remora fish, which enables it to hitchhike on wet or dry moving objects to significantly reduce its power consumption. It is designed for biological and environmental monitoring in marine ecosystems such as surveying ocean pollution in the open sea as the scientist of Beihang University, Imperial College London and Empa point out in a new study published in Science Robotics.

Health - Microtechnics - 12.05.2022
Bacteria with recording function capture gut health status
Bacteria with recording function capture gut health status
Microrobots have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Researchers at the Max Planck ETH Centre for Learning Systems have now developed an imaging technique that for the first time recognises cell-sized microrobots individually and at high resolution in a living organism. How can a blood clot be removed from the brain without any major surgical intervention? How can a drug be delivered precisely into a diseased organ that is difficult to reach? Those are just two examples of the countless innovations envisioned by the researchers in the field of medical microrobotics.

Microtechnics - 30.03.2022
Silicone raspberry used to train harvesting robots
Silicone raspberry used to train harvesting robots
EPFL engineers have developed a silicone raspberry that can help teach harvesting robots to grasp fruit without exerting too much pressure. Raspberries are the ultimate summer fruit. Famous for their eye-catching scarlet color and distinctive structure, they consist of dozens of fleshy drupelets with a sweet yet slightly acidic pulp.

Microtechnics - Computer Science - 29.03.2022
Control for wheelchair robots to mitigate risk of collision in crowds
Control for wheelchair robots to mitigate risk of collision in crowds
Robotic wheelchairs may soon be able to move through crowds smoothly and safely. As part of CrowdBot, an project, researchers are exploring the technical, ethical and safety issues related to this kind of technology. The aim of the project is to eventually help the disabled get around more easily. Shoppers at Lausanne's weekly outdoor market may have come across one of EPFL's inventions in the past few weeks - a newfangled device that's part wheelchair, part robot.