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Symposium Sessions

Topical Clusters

  • Characterization (CH)
  • Materials Theory, Computation and Data (DS)
  • Energy and Sustainability (EN)
  • Electronics, Optics and Photonics (EQ)
  • Manufacturing (MF)
  • Nanomaterials (NM)
  • Quantum (QT)
  • Biomaterials and Soft Materials (SB)
  • Structural and Functional Materials (SF)

Symposium SB03—Robotic Materials for Advanced Machine Intelligence

The natural world motivates a new paradigm for robot design: advancing machine intelligence by way of new materials for robot bodies, whose mechanical and physicochemical properties yield advanced capabilities and autonomous behaviors akin to those of living organisms. Soft robotics has exemplified how a materials-driven approach to robotics has expanded robots’ abilities, opened new avenues for wearable and biomedical machines, and transformed our ideas of what a robot is and can be. However, continued advances are needed to address fundamental limitations in fabrication, power, and control. To address these interdisciplinary challenges, this symposium will bring together researchers from soft and microscale robotics, stretchable electronics, active matter, mechanics, and chemistry to share research that advances robotics by way of new materials.

This symposium is structured around three research themes. The first theme - robotic components from soft and architected materials - will feature new materials for actuation, perception, power, and control capabilities in soft robots and devices across all scales. Innovations of special interest include electrically-driven soft actuators, self-powered components, chemical power strategies, and iontronic devices. The second theme - integrated design and fabrication strategies for robotic materials - will showcase progress in manufacturing. Methods of particular interest will facilitate distributed actuation and sensing capabilities, multi-material fabrication, multiscale assembly, and/or paths towards the end-to-end design, fabrication, and evaluation of robotic materials. The third theme - advances in the modeling and control of materials for physical machine intelligence - will highlight theoretical contributions that will improve robotic material design and fabrication. The symposium will broadly explore new applications for robotic materials, including autonomous/untethered systems, wearable and biomedical devices, smart textiles, and beyond.

Topics will include:

  • Actuators for soft robots and devices - liquid crystal elastomers, dielectric elastomer actuators, and shape-memory/shape-morphing materials
  • Elastomers, hydrogels, polymers, and composites for robot bodies
  • Materials and strategies for power and energy management in soft devices
  • Additive and digital fabrication schemes for soft robots and robotic materials
  • Architected and biomimetic materials for robots
  • Materials for self-healing, growing, learning, and other adaptive robotic functions
  • Bioinspired and biohybrid design in robotic materials
  • Modeling, simulation, and control of robotic materials
  • Robotic materials for innovations at the human-robot interface
  • Autonomous soft/microscale robots and active matter

Invited Speakers:

  • Bilge Baytekin (Bilkent University, Turkey)
  • Ravinder Dahiya (University of Glasgow, United Kingdom)
  • Chiara Daraio (California Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Kristen Dorsey (Smith College, USA)
  • Ryan Hayward (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Yan Ji (Tsinghua University, China)
  • Mirko Kovac (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
  • Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio (Yale University, USA)
  • Andreas Lendlein (University of Potsdam, Germany)
  • Hani Naguib (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Jordan Raney (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Herbert Shea (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Robert F. Shepherd (Cornell University, USA)
  • Metin Sitti (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany)
  • Thomas Speck (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany)
  • Zeynep Temel (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
  • Li Zhang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China)

Symposium Organizers

Ryan Truby
Northwestern University
Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Mihai Duduta
University of Toronto
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Barbara Mazzolai
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Center for Micro-BioRobotics

Huichan Zhao
Tsinghua University
Mechanical Engineering

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature

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