Special Issue "New Materials and Designs for Soft Actuators"
A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).
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
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Soft Robotics aims to overcome one of the most significant barriers in robotics—the lack of adaptivity to the environment—by introducing soft materials that would render robots more compliant. Akin to biological organisms, such robots would be capable of soft-bodied locomotion and dexterity, necessitating the development of novel, soft actuators. The most widely known, and even successfully-commercialized soft actuation systems, presently in use, are based on inflating/deflating elastomeric chambers of various designs with fluids using compressors and pipes. The non-compliant components of these actuation systems limit miniaturization, thus introducing constraints into robotic design. This has prompted a novel research vector aimed at developing material systems for soft actuation, in particular those integrating sensing capabilities for centralized computer control of robotic motion. The goal of this exciting endeavor is replacing existing pneumatic and hydraulic soft actuators with electrically-activated functional material systems.
The synthesis and fabrication of novel actuator-sensor material systems is a technological prerequisite for engineering bio-inspired compliant robots. In the development of these critical technologies, particular attention is devoted to stimuli-responsive composite and multifunctional material systems with graded compliance and integrated flexible electronics. Such actuator–sensor materials may allow common modular design, in which nuts and bolts are used to assemble robots, to be replaced by a single-step autonomous fabrication. In addition, new actuator designs, along with advanced manufacturing methods, will further enhance the actuation performance by maximizing the actuation stress and strain. Folding, origami, fabric-embedded and 4D-robot designs may pave the way for miniaturization and multi-dimensional controlled actuation on demand.
The current Special Issue of Actuators provides insight into the latest scientific advances in the development and manufacturing of new materials for soft actuators, and their designs, aimed at improving soft actuation performance.
The following topics are of particular interest:
- Stimuli-responsive elastomer composites
- Multifunctional material systems for soft actuation and actuation-sensing
- Materials with functionally-graded compliance
- Electrically-driven soft actuators
- Soft-material robots
- Soft-hard actuators
- Soft actuator-sensor material systems
- Liquid metal alloys for soft actuation, sensing and actuation control
- Fabric-involving actuation (including wearables)
Related fabrication and processing methods:
- 3D- and 4D-printing techniques
- Single-step fabrication of actuator-sensor systems
- Micro- and nano-fabrication
Design and manufacturing:
- Performance-leveraging soft actuator design
- “Bolts-and-nuts-free” soft actuator design and manufacturing
- Bio-inspired soft actuator design
- Soft artificial muscles
- Origami-based design and manufacturing
- Smart folding design and manufacturing
- Fabric-involving actuator design and manufacturing
New! Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computational Simulation of Soft Materials Towards Implementation in Soft Actuation
Understanding the properties and performance of soft functional materials for implementation in Soft Actuation using computer simulations and/or AI, including, but not limited to:
- Relation between structure and function in soft materials (micro- and macro-levels)
- Nonlinear behavior of soft materials for actuation
- Elastic/viscoelastic behavior
- Wave propagation in soft matter
- Deformation of soft matter under various actuation stimuli
- Mechanical properties of soft material systems
- Simulation of composite material behavior
- Simulation of manufacturing methods (including 3D-printing)
- Design of soft actuators
- Material design for soft actuation
- Evolutionary robotics and design automation
- Forward and inverse kinematics in design of soft actuators
- CAD in design of soft actuators
- Design optimization
- AI in Soft Actuation
- Using AI for performance prediction and control of soft actuators
I welcome you to submit your research manuscripts to this Special Issue.
Dr. Aslan Miriyev
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Soft actuators
- Soft-hard actuators
- Soft artificial muscles
- Soft actuator-sensors
- Advanced manufacturing of soft actuators
- 3D-Printing of soft actuators
- Soft actuator design
- Bio-inspired design
- Folding, origami, 4D-robots
- Fabric-embedded soft actuators