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Reconfigurable Soft Body Trajectories Using Unidirectionally Stretchable Composite Laminae

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Journal Article - Open Access

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Yale University New Haven United States

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Compliant, continuum structures allow living creatures to perform complex tasks inaccessible to artificial rigid systems. Although advancements in hyper-elastic materials have spurred the development of synthetic soft structures i.e., artificial muscles, these structures have yet to match the precise control and diversity of motions witnessed in living creatures. Cephalopods tentacles, for example, can undergo multiple trajectories using muscular hydrostat, a structure consisting of aggregated laminae of unidirectional muscle fibers. Here, we present a self adhesive composite lamina inspired by the structural morphology of the muscular hydrostat, which adheres to any volumetrically expanding soft body to govern its motion trajectory. The composite lamina is stretchable only in one direction due to inextensible continuous fibers unidirectionally embedded within its hyper-elastic matrix. We showcase reconfiguration of inflation trajectories of two- and three-dimensional soft bodies by simply adhering laminae to their surfaces.

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  • Laminates and Composite Materials

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