Research Projects

SCRAMS: Soft, Curved, Reconfigurable, Anisotropic Mechanisms

Introduction Soft Curved Reconfigurable Anisotropic Mechanisms (SCRAMs) are a new class of soft robotic technology that will enable new multi-functional soft robots with reconfigurable actuation and shapes. The key to the proposed technology is the ability to change the mechanical properties of a thin-walled structure by changing its local curvature. For example, curving a flat sheet of paper along one direction greatly increases its stiffness in the other two directions. Exploiting the coupling between curvature and mechanical behavior in planar materials will enable the design, modeling, and control of reconfigurable soft robots.

This work is supported by NSF Award #1935324

CAREER: Dynamic Modeling and Fabrication of Compliant Material Systems for On-Demand Specialist Robots

This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant will make it possible to develop cost-effective, specialist robots that can be prototyped by a non-expert in a matter of hours. The goal of this project is to make robots more ubiquitous, accessible, and tunable for newcomers to robotics and for applications in industry, education, and academic research. Achieving this goal requires a shift towards more affordable materials, accessible fabrication strategies, and assistive design software that considers the particular dynamics of cost-efficient motors and materials, as well as the needs of specific applications.

This work is supported by NSF Award #1944789

Students: Fuchen Chen, Cole Brauer

A Wearable Hybrid Robotic Suit for Self-Actualization and Well-Being

This project proposes a wearable hybrid robotic system to address mobility issues that occur in aging populations. The goal of this system will be to support and guide the wearer through every day tasks, improving stability to reduce the risk of falls and subsequent injury. Our approach takes a three-thrust approach: 1) understanding through human biomechanics studies where and how interventions on the human body can have the highest impact, 2) the design of a suit that reconfigures itself on demand to provide external load pathways to the ground while staying transparent to the wearer in other use-cases, and 3) decision on how to reconfigure and use the suit informed by predictive biomechanics and sensor fusion approaches.

This work is supported by the ASU Global Kaiteki Center

Octopus-Inspired Soft Hydrogel Robots

Overview We are working to create a framework for design, rapid prototyping and control of robust, energy-efficient, autonomous soft arms with octopus-inspired distributed neuromuscular sensing and actuation. The arms will be capable of continuous deformation through the use of hydrogel “muscles” and distributed sensing through the use of embedded silver “neuron” interconnections. Such a unique octopus-inspired design forms a built-in local “sensing-actuation” feedback loop to achieve adaptive reconfiguration in response to the local environment.

This work was supported by Office of Naval Research Award N00014-17-1-2117


The Efficiency of Spine Stiffness in regards to Anguilliform Locomotion

Fish come in varying shapes, sizes, and ecosystems that lead to a multitude of different modes of swimming. To categorizes these different methods, fish are separated by fin and body motion. In particular the order of fish Anguilliformes or ‘eel-like’ locomotion utilizes a large portion of their body to produce thrust while swimming known as undulatory locomotion [1]. Due to the developments of high-speed video capture, research with in the past two decades have been able to understand eel locomotion, kinematics, and hydrodynamics.

This project is funded as part of a Barrett Honors thesis.

Students: Anson Kwan

Low-Cost Hands-On Engineering Projects and Curriculum for Elementary School Level Children

Elementary students have had a harder time staying engaged in the material during class time, especially since the start of Covid, whether they are online or in-person. Due to the virus, schools require there be enough materials for each individual student to work with so that they can all participate in the activity. Since the schools and teachers generally do not get enough funding, the teachers have to resort to doing the activity themselves under the document camera.

This project is funded as part of a Barrett Honors thesis.

Students: Jade Heun


Older projects that are currently inactive.