Symposium SF06-From Robotic Toward Autonomous Materials

Soft robotics has made tremendous strides over recent years, with new forms of soft actuators, sensors, and control strategies paving the way for physical intelligence. However, the field still faces challenges in power, performance, and control due to limited materials availability. To overcome these limitations, researchers are turning to nature for inspiration. Multifunctionality is the key to building emergent autonomous behavior that can integrate distributed actuation, perception, control, and energy capabilities in robotic agents. This requires new materials design paradigms that can tightly integrate multiple robotic capabilities to create functional materials that can perform tasks without human intervention. The symposium aims to bring together experts from materials science, soft robotics, chemistry, and mechanics to achieve this interdisciplinary vision. By collaborating across these fields, researchers can build beyond the current visions of robotic materials and create truly autonomous ones. The potential applications of this technology are vast, from soft robots that can perform delicate surgical procedures to autonomous systems that can monitor and repair infrastructure. This innovative approach provides research opportunities where both theory and experiments can produce discoveries and potential applications in Material science and Engineering, such as self-cleaning and functionalized actuators for AR, VR XR applications, environmentally adaptive surfaces, energy systems, responsive surfaces to communicate biological markers, situation adaptive protective gear and more.

Topics will include:

  • Materials with distributed and/or embodied sensorimotor behaviors
  • Soft material logic and neuromorphic computation
  • Stimuli-responsive hydrogels, liquid crystalline materials, and composites
  • Architected materials and Soft Robotic Materials
  • Additive and digital fabrication of multifunctional and programmable materials
  • Modeling, simulation, and control of autonomous materials
  • Self-healing, self-regulatory, and homeostatic materials
  • Autonomous soft, bioinspired, and/or microscale robots
  • Embodied energy and materials for energy scavenging

Invited Speakers:

  • Tommy Angelini (University of Florida, USA)
  • Bilge Baytekin (Bilkent University, Turkey)
  • Phil Buskohl (Air Force Research Laboratory, USA)
  • Alfred J. Crosby (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA)
  • Michael Dickey (North Carolina State University, USA)
  • Daniel I. Goldman (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Francesco Greco (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy)
  • Ryan Hayward (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Alexandra Ion (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
  • Mirko Kovac (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
  • Shlomo Magdassi (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Shingo Meada (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan)
  • Markus P. Nemitz (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA)
  • Abdon Pena-Francesch (University of Michigan, USA)
  • Kirstin Petersen (Cornell University, USA)
  • James Pikul (University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA)
  • Jordan Raney (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Sheila Russo (Boston University, USA)
  • Francesco Giorgio Serchi (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
  • Herbert Shea (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Robert Shepherd (Cornell University, USA)
  • David Swanson (United States Air Force, USA)
  • Zeynep Temel (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
  • Ryan Truby (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Thomas Wallin (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Timothy J. White (University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
  • Emily Whitting (Boston University, USA)
  • Xuanhe Zhao (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Lucia Beccai
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Amir D. Gat
Technion–Israel Institute of Technology
Mechanical Engineering
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Jeffrey I. Lipton
Northeastern University
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
No Phone for Symposium Organizer Provided , [email protected]

Yoav Matia
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Mechanical Engineering

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