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Trajectoid shapes and rolling paths.
The Institute for Basic Science’s Center for Physical and Molecular Sciences in South Korea has collaborated with a colleague from the University of Geneva to create an algorithm that can determine the shape of an object and cause it to roll down arbitrary paths.
The team’s paper in Nature details the development of their algorithm and its potential applications. Elisabetta Matsumoto and Henry Segerman from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Oklahoma State University also contributed to this study, with a News & Views article published in the same journal.
In their new endeavor, the research team began with an intriguing puzzle that begins with imagining a clay sphere rolling on wheels. If this spherical object were real, they could be deformed as it moved along to make it follow arbitrary paths.
The researchers observed that the sphere would follow the previous path if it were rolled down the ramp again due to the new deformations in its shape. They also noted that there are almost no limits to what paths could be taken by the world’s smallest shaped globule, which is capable of traversing nearly any possible path.
The realization that the deformations in a sphere could be mathematically linked to its path led them to question this possibility. If this were possible, an algorithm could then be developed to 3D print ice with predetermined deformities.
The answer to both questions was yes, thanks to the use of mathematical and physical principles. The team developed formulas that outlined deformations in an object, allowing it to follow a desired path down an inclined plane. They then created if practical 3D printing techniques for creating such an objective using CAD technology.
The team identified the objects as trajectoids, noting that they had a solid metal ball-bearing interior to add weight. They also discovered that it was possible to create TRAjectoids that traveled over corresponding paths twice, and named them “two-period tracheotories.”
The team of researchers suggests that their algorithms and formulas could be utilized in robotics applications and physics research related to the angular moment of an electron, as well as quantum research focused on the evolution of a quantum bit.
Nature (2023): Yaroslav I. Sobolev et al. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06306-y Elisabetta Matsumoto & Co, Shaped to roll along a programmed periodic path. ISSN:10.1018/D4157-602-2335-9 Journal information?
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