Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Self Healing Materials

Self Healing

Robotic systems are typically dimensioned to be able to withstand occasional extreme loads, instead of being designed based on their performance tasks. This over-dimensioning results in heavy and oversized robotic systems. Moreover robotic systems become very complex systems, for which the components are less accessible for maintenance and repair. If a component fails, usually a large part of the robotic system has to be disassembled in order to replace it, which is a very costly and time-consuming intervention done by specialists. Another research topic of R&MM group is to develop a material-oriented solution by implementing self-healing (SH) materials for actuators, for which we collaborated with material scientists from FYSC. We published how the mechanical properties (especially the stiffness of the material) can be tuned and as follows, implemented in four proof of concepts of soft robotics: one mechanical fuse for a compliant actuator, a self-healing pneumatic hand, a robotic gripper and two types of pneumatic artificial muscles.

Projects on Self Healing materials:
  • SHERO: Self-Healing Soft Robotics.
  • SOPHIA: Socio-Physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production.
  • SMART: Soft, Self-responsive, Smart MAterials for RoboTs.

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