Tufts University | School of Engineering | School of Arts and Sciences | Department of Biology | Find People |
   

News

Dean's Faculty Forum

Soft Robots: a new way to think about hardware

Every semester, the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences sponsors a Dean's Faculty Forum that features the research and scholarship of faculty members from Arts and Sciences. The Forum is structured with a lecture by one faculty member on a particular topic followed by commentary from a faculty discussant. The most important aspects of the Dean's Faculty Forum are that it appeals to a broad audience and gets people excited about the scholarship being done at Tufts.

Recently, the director of the Neuromechanics and Biomimetic Devices Lab, Professor Barry Trimmer (Biology), presented his talk entitled Soft robots: a new way to think about hardware at the Dean's Faculty Forum. The talk and subsequent discussion focused on how motion control problems have been solved in nature and how they can be adapted for our own uses. This "biomimetic" approach is currently being used at Tufts to develop a new class of robots entirely fabricated from soft materials. It is expected that these soft robots will be able to climb textured surfaces, crawl along ropes and wires and burrow into winding, confined spaces.