Stretchable Elastic Electrical Cable
Spandex makers Asahi Kasei Fibers have used their expertise on stretching to develop the world’s first elastic electrical cables. This invention called ROBODEN is to be used in the field of autonomous robotics to reduce the amount of space taken up by conventional wiring. Wiring in robotics usually has to be long enough to allow parts to move freely about their full range of motion. The problem is; there can be a mess of loose wires when the parts contract, ROBODEN stretches and contracts with the movement of the parts to solve this problem.
Asahi Kasei already has various types of cables available including USB. There are also a variety of possible applications for ROBODEN including clothing with flexible wiring and soft conductive skin for humanoid robots. In an interview with DigInfo News, the company said:
“When we talked to Professor Inaba at The University of Tokyo, he advised us that, for robots to be more like people, they’ll need to be soft, so they’ll need something akin to skin. And if you make skin, you’ll have wiring in the skin, so the wiring will need to follow the contours of the robot. Therefore, to make robots with a soft skin, it’s probably essential for wiring to be able to expand and contract.”
“Of course, this will also have applications in amusement or entertainment, so we’d like to see what customers say, and respond to their ideas in various ways.”
Thanks for the tip Kevin