Polymorphic Devices

Wearable robotic devices and soft autonomous robots/machines can be constructed from a variety composite materials which can be designed to meet functional requirements specific target applications. The mechanical properties of these composite materials – and the functional capabilities of components built from them – can be tuned by using different elastomers and base substrates, various fibrous and particle additives (change strength-to-weight ratio, strain), electroactive polymers/gels (variable stiffness), and strategic deposition of multiple materials (bioinspired, graded structures). Experimental studies are required to determine the types of composite materials are fit for certain applications (e.g. sensor embedded pneumatic actuators) and the fabrication methods offer reliable, inexpensive manufacturing.