Below are four of the latest innovations coming out of Oregon State University that are available for commercialization.

Molded pomace pulp products: an environmentally friendly alternative to paper-based products

Thanks to researchers JooYeoun Jung, Yanyun Zhao and John Simonsen, there’s a new, more sustainable option for beverage containers, packaging products, nursery containers and more. Made using fruit pomace — the byproduct of fruit juice and concentrate processes — these protective packaging products provide a new opportunity in a growing market.

New low-cost well plates

Oregon State researchers have developed paper-based microfluidic analytical well plates — trays with multiple spaces (wells) that are used as test tubes. These well plates provide a low-cost alternative to conventional options, are biodegradable and disposable and can be used for diagnostics, chemical analysis or environmental monitoring.

Shared antenna for simultaneous send and receive signals

Wireless communication systems need to both transmit and receive signals. The transmission signal is often far more powerful than the receiver signal, making it challenging for both functions to occur on a single antenna. This technology provides antenna architecture for simultaneous transmit and receive, doubling the efficiency of spectrum usage and reducing the need for additional antennas. This has many applications in wireless communications and radar.

3-D-printed hydraulic valve enables soft, controllable robots

To make robots more capable requires them to be more agile and flexible than traditional, rigid robots. Known as “soft robots,” they use pneumatics or hydraulics to actuate movement, with fluid controlled by valves. Until now, existing valves have had rigid components that have limited applications for soft robots. This completely soft, hydraulic valve is comprised of a 3-D-printed flexible polymer, compliant electrodes and an electrorheological working fluid, which together make movements like bending, twisting and stretching possible.