The seminar will present experimental numerical and theoretical studies on fluid driven actuation of elastic structures. The seminar is comprised of two parts:
The first part will talk about pneumatics in soft robots. Pressurization of gas within embedded channels and cavities is a popular method for actuating soft robots. In this work we derive a general model for compressible viscous flow in an elastic media representing a simplified miniaturized soft robot. We illustrate applying this model to periodic configurations, simplifying it via a long-wave approximation. Steady and time-dependent solutions are obtained, allowing to model the flow and to provide insight into the actuation dynamics of miniaturized pneumatic soft robots.
The second part will talk about flow in straws. While an ordinary object, a drinking straw involves several mechanical principles and can exhibit complex and interesting behavior as a thin shell elastic structure which accommodates viscous flow. Being the most interesting part of the straw, its joint is a multi-stable system made of a chain of cells called frusta, capable of achieving complex bending geometries at stable state, as well as significant extension. This work focuses on the dynamics of the transition between stable states of the joint in the context of extension for actuation.