Kam Leang in collaboration with UNLV-led team (Kwang J. Kim and Paul Oh) and other researchers receive new $3.8M NSF funding to work on electroactive polymer materials for soft robotics.

Goal and Objectives: This international project addresses a technologically important issues in soft robotics. Soft robotics is an important emerging field in robotics, mechatronics, and automation. Soft robotic components and systems offer new features and advances over conventional robotic devices. This project focuses on the creation of advanced multifunctional artificial muscles (AM) based on new polymer-metal composites which can be used in soft robotic applications. Artificial muscles can be transformative for millions of people with disabilities. The development of AM will benefit biomimetic soft robotics, medical diagnostics and tools, and invasive surgical systems. The potential market for reliable, cost-effective and easily scalable Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs)-based AM technology is substantial. The international partners are from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate School of Ocean Systems Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Hybrid Actuator Group, Inorganic Functional Material Research Institute at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan. The international team has strong expertise in manufacture engineering and has the necessary computational and experimental resources.

More details can be found here.