Special Issue "Soft Actuation: State of the Art and Outlook"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.
Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Interests: soft-material robotics; bio-hybrid robotics; soft actuation; bio-hybrid actuation; soft and structural functional composites; multi-material systems; advanced manufacturing; 3D-printing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Adaptation to rapidly changing global conditions increases the dependence of humanity on advanced technologies. Climate cataclysms, environmental disasters, and epidemics have always been an "exam" for many technological domains. Breakthrough technologies, mature enough for implementation, rapidly find their way to the front line to solve critical issues.
Soft robotics possesses the potential to become such a technological game-changer and help humanity overcome future global challenges. Indeed, the efforts to minimize the exposure of humans to dangerous urgent tasks have significantly increased the demand in robots capable of actively assisting or substituting humans. However, there are still no intelligent adaptive robots, consistently co-working with people beyond the strict execution of pre-programmed tasks- in neither emergencies nor routine.
Several technological limitations have hindered developing such nature-like robots. One of the main gaps has been the lack of reliable soft actuators with characteristics comparable to those of biological muscles. These include high actuation stress and strain, a wide range of actuation frequencies, high energy density and repeatable performance for billions of cycles. On the system level, such actuators should also be compatible with the sensing and computation components of the robot. The bar is high and intensive research is being conducted around the globe to develop advanced soft actuators and unleash the full potential of soft robotics.
Preparing the soft robotics field for next big global challenges requires acknowledging the achievements in soft actuation, admitting its technological gaps and drawing the domain's future development vectors. Currently, when most of the experimental research in various disciplines has been put on hold due to the pandemic circumstances, it might be the most suitable time for this effort.
The Special Issue of Actuators provides a platform for the publication of Review articles on the state of the art in various aspects of soft actuation, and offers insight into the future of the domain by publishing solicited perspective and opinion articles. I am cordially inviting you to submit review articles for publication in the "Soft Actuation: State of the Art and Outlook" Special Issue of Actuators.
Dr. Aslan Miriyev
How to submit
Please express your interest in submission a review paper to our special issue by email to [email protected] with an attached short pdf document including a cover letter, paper title and paper abstract.
Your application will be evaluated for fitting the scope of the special issue and the Actuators journal and you will receive a confirmation email.
After receiving the confirmation email from us, you are welcome to submit your review article in the journal's electronic submission system by 31 August 2020.
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Contact Surfaces for Soft Actuators
Jaskirat Singh Batra1,*, Jun Kameoka1,2
1 Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Texas A&M University, USA
2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, USA
* Corresponding authors: [email protected]
This review article discusses the contact surface for soft robotics, which is critical for soft robotics actuation and locomotion. Most of the previous research has been limited to dry and hard surfaces where the locomotion is supported by surface friction. However, the challenges with soft robot locomotion and actuation arise on other contact surface environment. Further advancement of soft robots and actuators to solve real-world problems will depend on their ability to interact with complex natural (biological) and synthetic (metamaterials) environments. By identifying technological gaps in soft robot locomotion on contact surfaces, this review article will provide future direction for development of soft robots to interact with complex surfaces.
Keywords: soft actuator, soft robotics, contact surface, surface property, surface interaction, friction, wet adhesion