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Researchers at TU Delft have developed a new supercompressible but strong material without conducting any experimental tests at all, using only artificial intelligence (AI). "AI gives you a treasure map, and the scientist needs to find the treasure," says Miguel Bessa, first author of a publication on this subject in Advanced Materials on 14 October.

Miguel Bessa, assistant professor in and engineering at TU Delft, got the inspiration for this research project during his time at the California Institute of Technology. At a corner of the Space Structures Lab, he noticed a satellite structure that could open long solar sails from a very small package.

He wondered if it would be possible to design a highly compressible yet strong material that could be compressed into a small fraction of its volume. "If this was possible, everyday objects such as bicycles, dinner tables and umbrellas could be folded into your pocket."

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Category: Science