Electrical and Computer Engineering Prof. Dr. Andrea Alù, Research Scientist Dimitrios Sounas and colleagues at the AMOLF institute in the Netherlands have invented the first mechanical metamaterials capable of transferring motion effortlessly in one direction while blocking it in the other. Their findings, as published Feb. 13 in Nature, demonstrate that the material acts as a one-way shield that blocks energy from coming in but easily transmits it going out the other side. Researchers report that breaking the symmetry of motion may enable greater control and efficiency in mechanical systems and mechanical devices. The team hopes to leverage these topological mechanical metamaterials for various applications, optimizing them, and carving devices out of them for applications in soft robotics, prosthetics and energy harvesting. Read more.
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