Soft robotics with active matter
The objective of this program is to understand the behavior of sheets of self-oscillating gels, polymeric materials that undergo shape changes powered and guided by chemical reactions occurring entirely within the gel. We will answer the following questions: (1) How do two-dimensional sheets of self-oscillating gels behave? (2) Can we predict their dynamics? (3) Can we make Yoshida’s self-oscillating gels faster and more adaptable? To answer these questions we will conduct experimental studies of the relationship between material properties, geometry, and dynamics; develop more responsive and configurable self-oscillating materials; develop static and dynamic models to show that the configurations of self-oscillating sheets can be predicted with non-Euclidean plate theory; build a machine learning model that predicts system configurations that produce targeted dynamics, such as swimming.