Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2018
Monday–Friday, March 5–9, 2018; Los Angeles, California
Session H47: Morphable Structures
2:30 PM–5:30 PM,
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
LACC Room: 507
Sponsoring Unit: GSNP
Chair: Joel Marthelot, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-MIT
Abstract: H47.00007 : Reprogramming the Elastic Properties of Mechanical Metamaterials by Amplifying Imperfections.
4:06 PM–4:18 PM
Researchers have started to explore the use of compliance in the design of soft robotic devices that have the potential to be more robust, adaptable and safer for human interaction than traditional rigid systems. However, the field of soft robotics is still in its development phase and advances in control and tunability of soft actuators’ response are needed. A promising direction to embed and control multiple functionalities in a single actuator is to use mechanical metamaterials. In these designed materials, elastic instabilities are often harnessed to enable switching between two modes of deformation. By embedding these metamaterials in soft actuators, they could benefit in a similar way from elastic instabilities associated with different functionalities. We aim to develop an actuated pneumatic mechanical metamaterial that can switch effectively between multiple deformation modes. We will enhance the sensitivity of the unstable response to imperfections, and harness small reversible shape changes that can potentially lead to different post-buckling deformations. This research will open up exciting opportunities for the design of soft robots with different and improved functionalities, bringing these soft systems closer to real world applications.
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