Closed-loop Control of 4D-printed Soft Robots

A presentation by Ali Zolfagharian, Deakin University, Australia.

Soft robotics is a recent and rapidly growing field of research that encompasses emerging advances in functional materials, fabrication, modeling, and performance control with important applications in the manipulation of fragile objects.

The incorporation of four-dimensional (4D) printing into the fabrication of soft robots facilitates the customization of their functions by the strategic placement of functional materials into locations that may be inaccessible by conventional manufacturing methods.

In four-dimensional (4D) printing, the functionality of a soft robot is introduced during the printing process. To control this functionality, specific functional materials are embedded
in desired locations. Four-dimensional printing and control algorithms provide new possibilities for developing stand-alone closed-loop 4D-printed soft robots.

This talk presents the current approaches employed to design and construct 4D-printed polyelectrolyte soft actuators and robots with customized geometrical, functional,
and control properties.

Question 1: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Soft Sensors and Actuators; 3D/4D Printing; Soft Robotics; Smart Materials

Question 2: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Healthcare; Human-robot interactions; Food processing

Question 3: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Developing the biocompatible and renewable synthesized functional soft materials is the main challenge.

About Ali Zolfagharian
Dr. Ali Zolfagharian is an Alfred Deakin Medalist for Best Doctoral Thesis and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee, at Deakin University, Australia. He has received his B.Sc. and M.Eng. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Mazandaran University, Iran and University Technology Malaysia (UTM), respectively. He is a Mechanical Engineering lecturer in the School of Engineering, Deakin University, Australia.

Dr. Zolfagharian is one of the foremost researchers in Australia in 3D/4D printing of soft robots and soft actuators. His research outputs in the field of 3D and 4D printing, include involving in research funds, publishing books and journal articles, and guest editing special issues.

About Deakin University
With over 45 years of experience as one of Australia’s leading tertiary education providers, Deakin has won numerous awards and teaches over 60,000 students each year. We offer our students world-class programs and endless opportunities.

A global approach to learning
At Deakin, we advance education through progressive teaching and innovative research.

An internationally recognised university
With a history of being innovative and cutting edge, we offer excellent facilities, exceptional teaching and flexible learning to all our 60,000 students, whether on campus or online.

Realising our best future
Our strategic direction provides a framework to guide our decisions and realise the best future for our communities.

Ali Zolfagharian will speak at the 2021 edition of the 4D Printing & Meta Materials Conference.

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