3D Printed Modular Soft Grippers Integrated with Metamaterials for Comformal Grasping

This presentation will present a 3D printed soft gripper with integrated metamaterial for conformal grasping. The design, modeling, and characterization of the soft modular gripper will be presented. These soft robots have many interesting and impactful applications in a wide range of industries.

A presentation by Charbel Tawk, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Wollongong in Dubai.


Question 1: What drives you?
I am driven by big goals and dreams that can have a long-term positive impact on society.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
To explore new types of soft robots that are very different from traditional rigid metallic robots. These soft robots have many interesting and impactful applications in a wide range of industries.

Question 3: What emerging technologies / trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies will play a key role in the short and long run. The invention of new 3D printable soft, smart, and/or hybrid materials that can change their properties (e.g., compliance, color, shape, etc.) pon demand will open the doors for so many interesting applications in a wide range of industries.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
They will have an immense transformative impact on many industries when it comes to the fabrication methods and capabilities of a certain product. For example, in the fashion industry, clothes do not have to be static anymore, instead, they can be made to change their shape or color on-demand, in addition to being an energy source to charge our mobile phones.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Having a multidisciplinary research team that collaborates with various industries is a key to their success. Such communication is crucial to start any desgin with the end in mind. In other words, the impactful application (i.e., product) must be defined first along with its specifications, and based on such product 3D printable materials must be then developed to match the desired requirements.

About University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)
Established in 1993, University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) is the first international Australian university in the UAE, and is now part of a global brand that has campuses in Australia, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

With over 27-year track record, the University offers internationally-recognised degrees that are accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of UAE’s Ministry of Education, licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and quality assured by Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the national regulator of the higher education sector in Australia.

UOWD’s curriculum and teaching practices reflect those of UOW Australia, which ranks among the top 1% of universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2022). The institution offers over 40 bachelor and master degrees spanning 10 industry sectors, such as engineering, business, ICT, healthcare, communications and media. These degrees are formally recognised by leading professional organisations such as AACSB, CIPD, ACCA, CPA, AHRI, CIM, CIMA, CIPS, EFQM and ACS.
UOWD has a strong cohort of highly qualified academic staff, each holding PhD degrees and recognised as leaders in their fields of expertise, with strong global and industry ties. UOWD’s faculty members are active researchers, involved in research activities across 100 different fields.

UOWD boasts many alumni who have made a mark across the world through notable contributions in various industries and professional sectors at leading multinational organisations such as Microsoft, GE, IBM, Deloitte, Fedex, 3M, Adidas, Amazon, Emirates, Etisalat, ADCB and Pepsico.

UOWD offers international students the opportunity to transfer between the university’s campuses for a holistic global higher education experience, and degrees can either be issued from Australia or the UAE.

As part of its continued pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, industry engagement and student experience, UOWD inaugurated its new purpose-built 200,000-square-foot campus at Dubai Knowledge Park in 2020. Featuring cutting-edge technologies, modern architecture, and a mix of traditional and innovative learning spaces, the campus provides an enriched experience to meet the demands of today’s student population, while supporting the teaching staff and community research projects.

Charbel Tawk is speaker at the 2022 edition of the 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference.

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