In the field of soft robotics, the choice of material
plays an important role and greatly influences the properties of
the actuators. More complex actuators can be manufactured by
combining the strengths of multiple materials in a single design.
To allow this, a good connection between the different materials
is indispensable. Making a physical connection between flexible
materials, with different properties, is difficult and leads to
failure and damages due to stress concentrations at the interface.
This is why in soft robots, most of the time single-material
flexible actuators are used. In this work, re-mendable elastomeric
polymers are used to construct multi-material soft actuators.
These Diels-Alder polymers consist of a thermoreversible covalent
network that allows to bond chemically at the interface between
two parts. Two Diels-Alder polymers were synthesised with
contrasting mechanical properties. Although, having dissimilar
Young’s moduli, these two different materials can chemically
bond at the interface, resulting in a very strong connection.
This principle was elaborated in a dual-material tendon driven
soft actuator. Additionally, The reversible network allows to
heal damages using mild heating. This healing ability was
demonstrated by subsequently damaging and completely healing
the dual-material soft actuator multiple times.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2019)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • soft robotics, Self-healing material

ID: 43855901