Scientific Internship: 3D printing of soft robots with embedded smart fluidic circuits

Updated: about 19 hours ago

The Soft Robotic Matter group at AMOLF is looking for research interns at the Master’s level from a range of backgrounds (Engineering, Physics, Materials Science) that will work on 3D printing of soft robotic systems with smart fluidic circuits. Soft robots with pneumatically driven actuators are more adaptable to the environment and allow safer human-robot interactions compared to conventional robots made from rigid materials. Current soft robots with pneumatic actuators are often tethered to external power and control, limiting the robots’ adaptability in complex environments. On-board power and control strategies have recently emerged, e.g., using chemical pressure generators and smart fluidic circuits that are embedded in the soft robot. The aim is to make the soft robots fully autonomous and electronics-free, where the capability of getting feedback from the environment is indispensable in the next generation of soft robots with increased intelligence.

The full integration of power, control, actuation, and sensing units in soft robots poses a great challenge in manufacturing. Molding of silicone elastomer becomes insufficient when it comes to the fabrication of soft autonomous robot with complex fluidic circuits between power, control, actuation, and sensing units. Previous experiments in the Soft Robotic Matter group with direct-write 3D printing of silicone elastomer show great potential for soft robots with smart fluidic circuits. We seek to further take advantage of this tool to explore new designs and manufacturing possibilities of soft robotic components. New power, control, and sensing strategies for soft pneumatic robots will be investigated based on 3D printing of multifunctional materials, fluidic tests and design optimization. Experimental testing, analytical and/or numerical modeling will be conducted to facilitate the fundamental understanding of the newly developed strategies. Finally, we aim to use direct-write 3D printing to integrate different soft robotic components on a fully soft, autonomous robot that can respond to the environments.

The internship focuses on the development and understanding of 3D-printed soft robotic components with smart fluidic circuits. Potential topics could be related to any of the power, control, actuation, and sensing components of soft robots, depending on the student’s background and interest.


Dr. ir. Bas Overvelde
Group leader Soft Robotic Matter
E-mail: overvelde@amolf.nl
Phone: +31 (0)20-754 7100

You can respond to this vacancy online via the button below.
Please annex your:
–  One-page motivation letter;
–  Resume;
–  List of followed courses plus grades.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and as soon as an excellent match is made, the position will be filled.

Online screening may be part of the selection.

Commercial activities in response to this ad are not appreciated.


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