An autonomous function is the ability to perform the cycle of sensing, communicating, computing, and reacting to stimuli. Nature provides us with engineered examples of autonomous systems; investigating the governing mechanisms of such provides the fundamental principles for realizing autonomous function at the material, device, and system levels.
The goal of Autonomous Materials is to create a new and exciting vision for material composites. These composite materials will encompass effort from the “Smart Materials” and “Smart Systems” community (PZTs for example), as well as new work in soft structural sensing (e.g., stretchable photonic networks), structural energy, dynamic mechanical energy (electrohydraulic energy storage), material computation (e.g., BZ reactions), self healing, ionotronics, stretchable electronics, etc. One specific difference in our goals from prior topics such as Smart Materials is that we will prioritize research at scales and properties that allow for processing as materials (e.g., injection molding, 3D printing, layup, etc). Further, we expect that many of the proposed advances in Autonomous Materials will stem from bioinspiration; we will use the nervous systems of animals and to what levels the nervous systems (i.e., sympathetic or parasympathetic) are mimicked as a yard stick towards our progress. Finally, we will focus utility of this topic towards applications; as such, we expect there to be a broad span of technology readiness levels represented in our space (robots, medical devices, analytical chemistry, rheology, additive manufacturing, etc).
Essentially, this symposium aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from chemistry, materials science, physics, robotics, biology, medicine, and engineering to discuss recent developments in autonomous materials, devices and systems, and their applications. We aim to reinstitute autonomous systems at the forefront of material science and innovation, emphasizing the potential for industrial applications.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Technion–Israel Institute of Technology
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
ORAU Program Fellow