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MEAM Seminar: “Elastomeric Materials for Autonomic Force Transmission, Optoelectric Sensing, and 3D Printing Soft Robots”
January 29 at 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
This talk will present multidisciplinary work from material composites and robotics. We have created new types of actuators, sensors, displays, and additive manufacturing techniques for soft robots and haptic interfaces. For example, we now use stretchable optical waveguides as sensors for high accuracy, repeatability, and material compatibility with soft actuators. For displaying information, we have created stretchable, elastomeric light emitting displays as well as texture morphing skins for soft robots. We have created a new type of soft actuator based on molding of foams, and stereolithography printing of elastomer based soft robots, and implemented deep learning in stretchable membranes for interpreting touch. All of these technologies depend on the iterative and complex feedback between material and mechanical design. I will describe this process, what is the present state of the art, and future opportunities for science in the space of additive manufacturing of elastomeric robots.
Robert F. Shepherd
Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University
Rob Shepherd is an associate professor at Cornell University’s Organic Robotics Lab (ORL), which focuses on using synthetic adaptation of natural physiology to improve machine function and autonomy. Our research spans three primary areas: bioinspired robotics, haptic interfaces, soft sensors and displays, and advanced manufacturing. We use soft materials, mechanical design, and novel fabrication methods to replicate sensory organs such as dermal papillae, replicate organs that rely on actuation such as the heart, and to power soft actuators and robots. He is the recent recipient of an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. His work has been featured in popular media outlets such as the BBC, Discovery Channel, and PBS’s NOVA science documentary series.