Over the last few days we have learned about how to create stretchable electronics from gallium and indium embedded into an elastomer. Today we continue the conversation with Eric Markvicka and look at applications for this type of stretchable electronics.
Jim: Are there any specific applications in which you’d like to see liquid metal circuits used?
Eric: In the near-term, we see this material being useful for resilient circuit wiring in stretchable textiles and inflatable structures.
Jim: OK, my gears are turning now!
Eric: Examples could be sensorized garments for wearable computing or an inflatable house, airship, or spacesuit that is integrated with damage-resistant electrical wiring.
Jim: And, long-term?
Eric: In the longer term, we believe this material could be used as “artificial nervous tissue” for soft machines and robots that mimic soft natural organisms. As with natural nervous tissue, the self-healing circuitry could be resilient to damage and enable the host robot to withstand extreme loads and real-world conditions.
Come back for tomorrow’s topic: the future of self-healing electronics!
(The electrically self-healing liquid metal-elastomer composite is detailed in Nature Materials)