Smarter Smart Materials

Associated Project 10 (AP 10)

SMARTER SMART MATERIALS - INTEGRATING HUMAN INTERACTION WITH ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIVE MATERIAL SYSTEMS

The aim of this research project is to outline and develop concepts for creating Smarter Smart Material (SSM) systems that effectively and efficiently change-shape via interaction with both humans and the environment. Currently, several shape-changing material systems exist that exhibit responsive behavior based on environmental stimuli such as temperature (thermorphs) and humidity (hygromorphs). The shape change is an integrated function of the material; as it does not require electronic actuation, it can be deployed in various settings at low-cost and in small form factors. However, this behavior is directly linked to the environmental stimulus, and thus cannot be further controlled via human interaction. From the opposite perspective, fully electronically controlled shape-changing parts are often overly complex for the simple repetitive tasks they are required to perform.

Through this interdisciplinary and international collaboration, we will develop methods to integrate human interaction and control with environmentally responsive material systems, where the user can additionally interact with and control the shape change. This will be achieved through methods adding controllable actuation compatible with the additive manufacturing of shape-changing materials and developing a human interaction pipeline. The benefit of this approach is that it adds new functionality to the highly efficient movements of the materially responsive system.

 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Prof. Achim Menges and Dylan Wood
Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), University of Stuttgart

RESEARCHERS
Tiffany Cheng (ICD)
Yasaman Tahouni (ICD)

PARTNERS
HCI Engineering Group, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT

FUNDING
MIT International Science & Technology Initiatives (MISTI)
MIT-Germany, University of Stuttgart Seed Fund (4574645969)

 

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