Smart Material-Based Micromechatronics in Soft Robotics

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "A:Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2024 | Viewed by 2957

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor Assistant
1. Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02139, USA
Interests: programmable smart materials and structures; drug delivery; soft robotics and electronics; MEMS; computational-enabled additive manufacturing

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Guest Editor Assistant
Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Interests: intelligent mechatronics; precision instrumentation; medical devices; nanotechnology; robotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soft robotics has become an intensive research area focusing on intelligent structures and mechanisms with highly integrated actuation and sensing functionalities. As one of the key technologies in the development of soft robotics, the community is actively looking for smart, stimuli-responsive materials that enable soft robotics to interact with unconstructed, unpredictable environments, and thus provide more comprehensive operational flexibilities than traditional rigid-body robotics.

This Special Issue is dedicated to understanding the interaction between smart materials and subsystems of soft robotics to provide a state-of-the-art pathway to achieve self-regulation, advanced manipulation, structural health monitoring, and integrated manufacturing of soft robotics. Invited and submitted manuscripts are especially welcome to investigate the cooperation and programming of light-, electrical- and thermal-responsive smart materials and metamaterials that enable embedded sensing, self-healing, self-assembly, and compliant self-actuation properties of soft robotic systems. Research on the fabrication and integration of miniaturized smart materials to enable MEMS and soft robotic electronics with integrated operational functionalities for practical applications are also strongly encouraged.

We look forward to receiving your contributions! 

Prof. Dr. Seung-Bok Choi
Guest Editor

Dr. Ziliang Kang
Dr. Fangzhou Xia
Guest Editor Assistants

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2600 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.

Keywords

  • smart materials
  • soft active materials
  • multifunctional materials
  • programmable materials
  • electromechanical coupling
  • soft robotics
  • stimuli-responsive
  • flexible electronics
  • soft actuators
  • soft sensors
  • piezoelectrics
  • flexible sensors
  • flexible actuators
  • wearable devices
  • physical intelligence
  • fabrication
  • integration
  • biomimetics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 4058 KiB  
Article
Resistance Feedback of a Ni-Ti Alloy Actuator at Room Temperature in Still Air
by Francesco Durante, Terenziano Raparelli and Pierluigi Beomonte Zobel
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040545 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 233
Abstract
This paper illustrates an experimental activity for the closed-loop position control of an actuator made using shape memory alloy (SMA) wire. A solution with the self-sensing effect was implemented to miniaturize the systems, i.e., without external sensors. A proportional control algorithm was initially [...] Read more.
This paper illustrates an experimental activity for the closed-loop position control of an actuator made using shape memory alloy (SMA) wire. A solution with the self-sensing effect was implemented to miniaturize the systems, i.e., without external sensors. A proportional control algorithm was initially used, demonstrating the idea’s feasibility; the wire can behave simultaneously as an actuator and sensor. An experimental investigation was subsequently conducted for the optimization of the developed actuator. As for the material, a Flexinol wire, Ni-Ti alloy, with a diameter of 0.150 mm and a length of 200 mm, was used. Preliminarily, characterization of the SMA wire at constant and variable loads was carried out; the characteristics detected were elongation vs. electric current and elongation vs. electrical resistance. The control system is PC based with a data acquisition card (DAQ). A drive board was designed and built to read the wire’s electrical resistance and power it by pulse width modulation (PWM). A notable result is that the actuator works with good precision and in dynamic conditions, even when it is called to support a load up to 65% different from that for which the electrical resistance–length correlation has previously been experimentally obtained, on which the control is based. This opens up the possibility of using the actuator in a counteracting configuration with a spring, which makes hardware implementation and control management simple. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Material-Based Micromechatronics in Soft Robotics)
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Review

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26 pages, 7501 KiB  
Review
Revolutionizing Prosthetic Design with Auxetic Metamaterials and Structures: A Review of Mechanical Properties and Limitations
by Muhammad Faris Fardan, Bhre Wangsa Lenggana, U Ubaidillah, Seung-Bok Choi, Didik Djoko Susilo and Sohaib Zia Khan
Micromachines 2023, 14(6), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14061165 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Prosthetics have come a long way since their inception, and recent advancements in materials science have enabled the development of prosthetic devices with improved functionality and comfort. One promising area of research is the use of auxetic metamaterials in prosthetics. Auxetic materials have [...] Read more.
Prosthetics have come a long way since their inception, and recent advancements in materials science have enabled the development of prosthetic devices with improved functionality and comfort. One promising area of research is the use of auxetic metamaterials in prosthetics. Auxetic materials have a negative Poisson’s ratio, which means that they expand laterally when stretched, unlike conventional materials, which contract laterally. This unique property allows for the creation of prosthetic devices that can better conform to the contours of the human body and provide a more natural feel. In this review article, we provide an overview of the current state of the art in the development of prosthetics using auxetic metamaterials. We discuss the mechanical properties of these materials, including their negative Poisson’s ratio and other properties that make them suitable for use in prosthetic devices. We also explore the limitations that currently exist in implementing these materials in prosthetic devices, including challenges in manufacturing and cost. Despite these challenges, the future prospects for the development of prosthetic devices using auxetic metamaterials are promising. Continued research and development in this field could lead to the creation of more comfortable, functional, and natural-feeling prosthetic devices. Overall, the use of auxetic metamaterials in prosthetics represents a promising area of research with the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world who rely on prosthetic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Material-Based Micromechatronics in Soft Robotics)
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