MSSE Thesis Defense: Midhun Varghese, "Bioinspired Metamaterial for Soft Robotics Applications"
Friday, April 9, 2021
MSSE Thesis Defense
Manufacturing and Experimental Characterization of a Bioinspired Metamaterial for Soft Robotics Applications
Advisor: Professor Eleonora Tubaldi
Committee member: Professor Hugh Alan Bruck
Committee member: Professor Michael Wilson Otte
The work presented in this thesis discusses the design, manufacturing, and experimental characterization of a novel bioinspired metamaterial soft fluidic actuator that possesses the ability to undergo pattern reconfiguration due to buckling instability during both positive and negative pressures. This phenomenon has not been observed in any previous metamaterial porous structure and is thereby the novelty of this design. This leads to a new class of metamaterials with a negative equivalent Poisson's ratio. The thesis further discusses the various experimental studies performed to characterize the metamaterial fluidic actuator both upon inflation and deflation through Pressure-Volume Curves, change of porosity, and variation of equivalent Poisson's ratio. Among potential applications, the metamaterial fluidic actuator has been used as a modular artificial muscle and a distributed gripper to manage flexible thin objects.