Researchers at TU Delft have recently designed a new material using only the power of artificial intelligence. This new material guides researchers towards making everyday items with compressible materials, while also showing how efficient A.I. can be for research.
Metamaterials and the future they hold
Material science researcher Miguel Bessa wanted to create something that could compress to a fraction of its volume. So, he drew inspiration from tight-packed, long solar sails of satellites. Just like those satellites he wanted to make something similar, but for general use.
It led to this specific project that dealt with metamaterials. These materials have a unique structure, not to mention multi-purpose and very functional. However, these also have properties very different from regular solids, and their usability is still under research. Bessa wondered if he would be able to create his envisioned compressible material using his metamaterial research.
The experiment process using metamaterials is usually lengthy. Researchers often rely on pure trial-and-error to produce good results. This led to Bessa and others in the field turning to the use of A.I. to speed up the process.
No experiment needed
Bessa used A.I. to find the best way to design his new material. Because of this, he didn’t have to do any experiments. It was able to learn which choices would best create the material he wanted.
We designed a new material using A.I. without experimentation. It transforms a fragile material into a super-compressible metamaterial! Article is free for everyone and was published in Advanced Materials: https://t.co/CeYigl3mCv
— M.A. Bessa (@MiguelABessa) October 14, 2019
Bessa stated that the “A.I. gives you a treasure map, and the scientist needs to find the treasure”. Through these “maps”, he created two designs that could be strong at full size but soft when compressed. The idea is for him to use these to convert brittle polymers into super compressible metamaterials.
Artificial Intelligence’s Potential
Although he set out to design a new material, Bessa believes that the real gain from this experiment is the possibility it opens up for A.I.-driven research. This research showed the superior ability of computers. Its efficiency to sort through data and choose the best options goes far beyond human potential. Not only can it speed up processes that are usually lengthy, they can also find completely new ways of doing research.
YouTube: TU Delft – researchers design new material by using Artificial Intelligence only