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Bioinspired underwater locomotion of light-driven liquid crystal gels

2020

Article

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Untethered dynamic shape programming and control of soft materials have significant applications in technologies such as soft robots, medical devices, organ-on-a-chip, and optical devices. Here, we present a solution to remotely actuate and move soft materials underwater in a fast, efficient, and controlled manner using photoresponsive liquid crystal gels (LCGs). LCG constructs with engineered molecular alignment show a low and sharp phase-transition temperature and experience considerable density reduction by light exposure, thereby allowing rapid and reversible shape changes. We demonstrate different modes of underwater locomotion, such as crawling, walking, jumping, and swimming, by localized and time-varying illumination of LCGs. The diverse locomotion modes of smart LCGs can provide a new toolbox for designing efficient light-fueled soft robots in fluid-immersed media.

Author(s): Shahsavan, Hamed and Aghakhani, Amirreza and Zeng, Hao and Guo, Yubing and Davidson, Zoey S and Priimagi, Arri and Sitti, Metin
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Year: 2020
Publisher: National Acad Sciences

Department(s): Physical Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

BibTex

@article{shahsavan2020bioinspired,
  title = {Bioinspired underwater locomotion of light-driven liquid crystal gels},
  author = {Shahsavan, Hamed and Aghakhani, Amirreza and Zeng, Hao and Guo, Yubing and Davidson, Zoey S and Priimagi, Arri and Sitti, Metin},
  journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  publisher = {National Acad Sciences},
  year = {2020}
}