Scientists have created a robot that absorbs aluminum for movement. The development of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania is described in the journal ACS Energy Letters.
Batteries are used in the vast majority of modern devices, but with the development of robotics, they become not ideal power options – primarily because of the large weight and small capacity.
Some devices can collect energy from the environment, but so far they are not doing it very efficiently. In a new work, researchers created a robot that collects not sunlight, but metal from the environment as a power source.
The robot was called MAS – it has a built-in battery of classical design: with a cathode, anode and electrolyte. The difference is that the anode is not built into the battery – any metal surface on which the robot moves plays its role.
The cathode is made of carbon and coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and platinum nano bugs. The electrolyte is a hydrogel containing saltwater. When the salt solution is above a metal surface, it oxidizes the metal, destroying chemical bonds – so the robot activates itself.