Typical robotic systems contain components that are hard and cannot change their physical properties.  This effort aims at developing new kinds of robotic systems that are soft and can morph between different shapes. 

The work was started by two Darpa/DSO projects that involved close collaboration with Hod Lipson's group in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University,  iRobot Corporation, Joe DeSimone’s group in Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, and Liquidia Technologies

For more info on specific projects click on DETAILS

The research in our lab takes the phenomenon of jamming that is characteristic of granular materials and extends it to applications in the area of soft robotics. The basic idea is to exploit the dramatic change in rigidity of a granular material as it undergoes the jamming transition. By initiating this transition, the material can be reversibly switched between highly malleable and effectively solid states. Using jamming as enabling technology, we have developed the JamBot, a completely soft robot that can move and change shape, and the Jamming Universal Gripper, a new concept that enables reliable gripping of objects without requiring active feedback and excels in situations where the object’s shape is complex and its material properties (hard/soft/brittle) are unknown a priori.