SM01.07.34 : Soft Electronics Innervated Fully Soft Bodied Adaptive Robot

5:00 PM–7:00 PM Apr 4, 2018 (America - Denver)

PCC North, 300 Level, Exhibit Hall C-E

Cunjiang Yu1 Kyoseung Sim1

1, Univ of Houston, Houston, Texas, United States

Soft robots offer an alternative to conventional hard robots for the benefits of safety, adaptability, and complex motions. The development of fully soft-bodied robots, especially fully from smart soft materials to mimic the soft animals, is still nascent. Most importantly, to date, the existing soft robots do not have the abilities of environment sensing and adaptive motion or response, like animals. Herein, we report an inchworm-inspired smart/adaptive soft robot enabled by distributed ultrathin flexible sensing and actuating electronic networks. The distributed open mesh based heater can programmatically provide local joule heat to achieve reversible and locally controllable bending deformation in thermal-response soft material, i.e., carbon black mixed LCE by using a bilayer bending strategy. The distributed silicon-based photodetector array is used to sense and adaptively control the movement of the soft robot through the visible light in a long-distance manner. The results demonstrate that the adaptive crawling locomotion can be realized through the conjugation of sensing and actuation, where the sensors sense the environment and actuators respond correspondingly to control the locomotion autonomously through regulating the deformation of LCE-CB bimorphs and the locomotion of the robots. The developed work is aimed to provide a novel routine and strong demonstration in exploring smart and multifunctional soft robot, with animal-like locomotion and sensing ability.