The Future Of Adult By Darren Roberts
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Soft robotics is a quickly emerging field that takes a lot of inspiration from marine creatures like squids and starfish. A light-controlled hydrogel was recently developed that could be used for control of these new robotic devices, but now researchers at North Carolina State University are taking the development of soft robotic devices to a new level with electrically-charged hydrogels.

The “ionoprinting” technique, as the team has dubbed it, uses a copper electrode to inject positively-charged copper ions into a hydrogel material (a highly absorbent polymer material that is nearly 99.9 percent water). The copper ions bond with negatively charged ions n the hydrogel’s polymer network, creating a more robust and mechanically stiffer structure.

Applying an electrical current then causes the hydrogel to flex. Although electrical fields have been used to actuate hydrogel materials before, this is the first time that electromechanically active electrodes have been used to drive the motion. Also, this is the first time that the binding of ions has been used to create a more rigid hydrogel network in this way.

As well as being able to fold hydrogels significant distances within seconds, the technology allows the application of modest voltages to locally tune the mechanical properties of hydrogels to create physically-reinforcing exoskeletons. The copper ions can be injected into specific sections of the hydrogel material for more precise movement, with the resulting pattern of ions stable in water for a period of months. The more ions that are injected, the greater the hydrogel’s bending capabilities.

“We are currently planning to use this technique to develop motile, biologically compatible microdevices,” says Dr. Orlin Velev, INVISTA Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State.

This gives the technique potential in not only soft robotics, but also many other biomedical applications. Artificial muscles, enviro-intelligent sensors, actuators, biomimetic microbots, micropatterned thin films, cell scaffolds and drug-delivery are just some of the other potential applications for the technology according to the researchers.

The team’s paper is published in the journal Nature Communications.

The video below shows the ionoprinting process and hydrogels in action.

Source: North Carolina State University

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Cover illustration by Natalie Shau for Darren Roberts

Sexy Cover Design for The Unsexpected Story

The Unsexpected Story is now available in all digital formats including iBooks, Nook and Kindle. If you haven’t yet purchased your own copy now is the time to do so, Amazon is now offering the Kindle Edition for only $7.95!!

The Unsexpected Story is one of very few books written about the business side of the adult entertainment industry and features in-depth interviews with Peter Acworth, Joanna Angel, Greg Clayman, Scott Coffman, Susan Colvin, jessica drake, Larry Flynt, Teresa Flynt, Steve Hirsch, Ethan Imboden, Sunny Leone, Christian Mann, Nick Manning, Steve Orenstein, Theo Sapoutzis, Lou Sirkin, John Stagliano, Bobbi Starr, Allison Vivas and many, many more.

Engaging, conversational, and smart, The Unsexpected Story goes where other industry tell-alls don’t, tracing the economic and technological lifespan of the vast adult entertainment industry through the personal experiences of the individuals who have made a lasting impression on this forever green, multi-billion dollar empire.

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Cover of Time Magazine’s Rise of the Robots

Now available on newsstands (yes some do still exist), is the Time Magazine special issue of “Rise of the Robots”. From Androids to Unimates, this issue has all the species covered. The technology advancements made in this sector are staggering and for us that embrace the thought of robots adding to a better quality of life, the progress is more than hopeful. While they don’t mention the use of robotics to aid in sexual pleasure, it doesn’t take a PHD in Robotics Engineering to see how this all plays out.

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Is Pornography Dead?

What a great quote to use in association with the adult entertainment business. Take a look at this article written by David Rosen of AlterNet.  Some very interesting statistics!

Read story here.

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In my ongoing quest to discover new products and technologies, I came upon this article about a group of Harvard University scientists that announced the discovery and development of a highly-hydrophobic material knows as SLIPS. What is so amazing is that this material be continuously tweaked between hydrophobic and hydrophilic states. Applications may include self-cleaning optics, textiles, building materials, and of course, adult novelty products! You can read the entire article here.

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