American Chemical Society
nn2c09066_si_009.mp4 (29.62 MB)

Meniscus-Climbing System Inspired 3D Printed Fully Soft Robotics with Highly Flexible Three-Dimensional Locomotion at the Liquid–Air Interface

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posted on 2022-11-11, 15:20 authored by Yang Wang, Qingbao Guan, Dong Lei, Rasoul Esmaeely Neisiany, Yue Guo, Shijia Gu, Zhengwei You
Soft robotics locomotion at the liquid–air interface has become more and more important for an intelligent society. However, existing locomotion of soft robotics is limited to two dimensions. It remains a formidable challenge to realize three-dimensional locomotion (X, Y, and Z axes) at the liquid–air two-phase interface due to the unbalanced mechanical environment. Inspired by meniscus-climbing beetle larva Pyrrhalta, the mechanism of a three-phase (liquid–solid–air) contact line is here proposed to address the aforementioned challenge. A corresponding 3D printed fully soft robotics (named larvobot) based on photoresponsive liquid crystal elastomer/carbon nanotubes composites endowed repeatable programmable deformation and high degree-of-freedom locomotion. Three-dimensional locomotion at the liquid–air interface including twisting and rolling-up has been developed. The equation of motion is established by analyzing the mechanics along the solid–water surface of the larvobot. Meanwhile, ANSYS is used to calculate the stress distribution, which coincides with the speculation. Moreover, soft robotics is remotely driven by light in a precise spatiotemporal control, which provides a great advantage for applications. As an example, we demonstrate the controllable locomotion of the soft robotics inside closed tubes, which could be used for drug delivery and intelligent transportation.