Hydrogel-actuated Cellular Soft Robotic Materials with Programmable Mechanical Properties

Project Personnel

Katia Bertoldi

Principal Investigator

Harvard University

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Joanna Aizenberg

Harvard University

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Jennifer Lewis

Harvard University

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Mathias Kolle

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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Lakshminarayana Mahadevan

Harvard University

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Funding Divisions

Division of Materials Research (DMR)

The proposed project introduces and investigates a new class of environmentally responsive soft robotic materials with programmed mechanical properties based on elastomeric cellular structures. The objective is to establish robust and computationally efficient methods to capture their highly non-linear response, to synthesize soft materials that generate large deformations in response to external stimuli, to identify cellular architectures that amplify and direct the response of the active materials, to develop 3D printing strategies that enables fabrication of computationally identified material designs, and to solve the inverse problem of identifying realizable layouts that form soft robotic matter with the desired behavior.

Research Highlights