Technological innovations and requirements of modern applications have driven research towards active materials, capable to perform functions in specific system environments. The realization of directed movement has increased the attention paid towards polymeric materials, such as liquid crystalline elastomers or shape-memory hydrogels. Fascinating advances in materials science, including multifunctional soft materials, energy harvesting and actuation-schemes open up innovative paths to design and operate appliances and robots. Autonomous systems like soft robots, which could be realized by integrating multiple functions including energy generation and harvesting (e.g., catalysis, motion, photovoltaic, osmosis), energy storage (batteries, mechanical storage, thermal energy), sensory functions, and the capability of motion could be imagined. Nature has extensively served as a great source of inspiration for humans to design and develop innovative technologies. Plant-inspired robotic systems consider how plants perform and adapt their growth as well as how they vary biomechanical properties (stiffness and rigidity) to anchor, attach, and climb. This symposium will focus on all kinds of advances in designing and constructing living machines as a new generation of robots, and in increasing the efficiency, autonomy and lifespan of the systems.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and University of Potsdam
Institute of Biomaterial Science
Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado
Singapore University of Technology and Design
Ruike (Renee) Zhao