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This New Battery Inspired By Scales Can Bend And Stretch Like A Snake

If you have herpetophobia, please look the other way right now or don’t say we didn’t warn you.

A Korean Institute of Machinery and Materials has designed a new shape for a battery that promises to open up new and interesting possibilities in the energy management department. These new batteries can bend and stretch just like a snake!

The ability to mimic the behavior of the reptile’s individual scales could have huge potential for the serpent-inspired battery in the world of wearable electronics and other appliances where flexibility is an advantage. This new battery design was initially thought as a more malleable energy storage solution for wearable devices and robots. The idea behind it was to have a series of hard but small batteries connected together to form an overlapping scale0like structure that could easily bend and morph with the device.

To achieve this snake’s slithery nature, scientists used small, hexagonal-shaped lithium-ion battery cells as “scales” and electrically connected them with polymer and copper which acted as a hinge between them to allow for proper deformation without damaging the structure. Testing the stretchable battery showed that the structure could maintain its performance even when bent out of shape and subjected to a stretching ratio of 90% which was quite impressive.

This helps open a wide door of opportunities for these types of batteries to be used in wearable soft robots such as those used by rehabilitation staff working with elderly patients. Other applications could be a search and rescue robot that has to go into narrow spaces in case of a disaster where it’s impossible for humans to reach. As they perfect this technology, scientists hope to improve the storage capacity so it can be used for more complex structures in the future.

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