Symposium GI02—Materials for Next-Generation Robotics
Over the past 50 years Robotics has evolved to its current state in which the field is now a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. The field continues to expand into new application areas to perform ever more complex tasks that humans cannot do or at scales that humans cannot reach. The rapid advance of robotic systems in recent years has largely been due to increases in computing performance, and there has been little change in the way robots are assembled or in the choice of materials, actuators and sensors that are used to drive current robotic systems. However, exciting advances in materials science, including the development of soft materials, energy harvesting systems, and the adoption of smart bio-inspired design principles suggest radically new ways to construct and operate robots. The development of new materials holds the key for enabling the next generation of robots that can overcome the limitations of traditional bulky, hard, and power-hungry systems. In this symposium new material systems, actuators, and methods for energy harvesting, as well as methods for fabrication, assembly, potential miniaturization, and integration into robotic systems will be discussed. The meeting will focus on radially new design approaches and novel material systems for robotics at all scales.