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Toughest known structure discovered by autonomous robot lab



The Bayesian experimental autonomous researcher (BEAR), a robotic laboratory

Aldair E. Gongora and Bowen Xu

A robotic laboratory that can produce and test mechanical structures without human supervision has discovered the most energy-absorbing one measured so far, beating the previous record held by balsa wood.

There are many ways to test how tough or resilient a structure is, but one common measure is the energy absorbing efficiency, or the amount of mechanical energy something can absorb without failing.

Protective structures, like the foam in bike helmets or the metal in car crumple zones, tend to have high …

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