(502g) Muscle-Inspired Flexible Mechanical Logic Architecture for Miniature Robotics | AIChE

(502g) Muscle-Inspired Flexible Mechanical Logic Architecture for Miniature Robotics


Agrawal, M. - Presenter, University of Michigan
Glotzer, S. C., University of Michigan
Miniature robots (~10nm-100micron) that morph in response to external stimuli such as light or chemicals in their local environment have the potential to perform non-invasive treatments inside the body, clean up oil spills, or be embedded in textiles to intelligently tune fabric properties. Such robots will be composed of stimuli-responsive polymers (SRPs) that actuate like artificial muscles and passive materials for structure and support. By using multiple SRPs, computation ability can be incorporated in these actuating systems. The challenge is to design an architecture that is compact, material agnostic, stable under stochastic forces, and employs stimuli-responsive materials. Here we demonstrate such an architecture, which computes combinatorial logic via mechanical gates that use linear actuation (expansion and contraction). Additionally, the logic circuitry is physically flexible. We mathematically analyze gate geometry and discuss tuning it for the given signal requirements. We validate the design at colloidal scales using Brownian dynamics simulations. Finally, we simulate a complete robot that folds into Tetris shapes.