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Robotics – Thinking Out of the Box, A Novel Approach to Modeling Soft Robotics

Dr. Yoav Matia
University of Cornell, USA

In this seminar we will analyze the transient dynamics of solid-fluid composite structures. This is an interdisciplinary research subject, which lies on the border between theoretical fluid mechanics, soft-robotics and composite-structures. We focus on an elastic beam embedded with fluid-filled cavities as a representing common configurations. Beam deformation both creates, and is induced by internal viscous flow, where changes to cavities' volume are balanced by a change in axial flux. As a result, pressure gradients develop in the fluid in order to conserve mass, and stresses are induced at the solid-fluid interface; these in turn, create local moments and normal forces, deforming the surrounding solid and vice versa.
The results of the presented research can be applied to define the required geometric and physical properties of solid-fluid structures in order to achieve specific responses to external excitations, thus allowing to leverage viscous-elastic dynamics to create novel soft-actuators and solid-fluid composite materials with unconventional mechanical properties.

Keywords: Soft-smart Metamaterials, Actuators, Energy harvesting, soft matter, fluid dynamics, fluid structure interaction, large deformation, two way coupling, dynamic modeling

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