Lab News


Interview on Soft Machines

Thanks to Bridget Decker and the CMU College of Engineering for preparing this fantastic video highlighting our work on Soft Machines. Visit the CIT Youtube page to learn about other exciting research efforts at CMU.


Seed grant from the Foundation of Science and Technology of Portugal

SML is pleased to work with Dr. Mahmoud Tavakoli on a joint CMU-Portugal Exploratory Project for developing ``Compliant Robotics Hands with Integrated Soft MEMS Skin.'' Dr. Tavakoli is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Embedded Systems Lab at the Institute of Systems and Robotics - University of Coimbra (ISR-UC). Seed funding for this project comes from the Foundation of Science and Technology of Portugal.


Quote in the NY Times

Check out Katie Harmon Courage's article in the NY Times on Soft Robotics. The article provides an excellent overview of the field along with details on the PoseiDrone octopus robot by Dr. Giorgio-Serchi and his colleagues at Scuolo Superiore Sant'Anna. It appeared in print on page D3 of the July 29, 2014 issue.

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Paper on Soft Robot Locomotion

Together with Prof. Oliver O'Reilly and Xuance Zhou at UC Berkeley, we have developed a two degree-of-freedom model to examine the locomotion of soft robots on a rigid surface. Our dynamical analysis shows that locomotion featuring stick-slip friction is more efficient than a counterpart that only features slipping. This work was recently published in the journal of Nonlinear Dynamics (Springer). [publisher's link] [pdf]


SML-EBL trip to Kennywood!

SML joins the Experimental Biomechatronics Lab (PI: Steve Collins) on an evening visit to Kennywood! Opened in 1898 as a ``trolley park'' for the Monongahela Street Railway, Kennywood is a national treasure that continues to bring thrills (and occasional nausea) to CMU grad students and their faculty advisors :-)



SML selected for DURIP Infrastructure Grant

SML is grateful to Dr. Tom McKenna (Code 34: Biorobotics) and ONR for selecting us for the 2014 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). This grant will provide vital infrastructure for the fabrication and testing of soft multifunctional materials.


Congrats to Wanliang and Arda for their new faculty appointments!

Congratulations to Wanliang Shan and Arda Gozen for accepting tenure-track faculty positions starting in Fall 2014! Wanliang will be in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Arda will be in Mechanical Engineering at Washington State University. We wish them all the best and look forward to continued collaborations.


Prof. Majidi selected for the NASA Early Career Faculty Award

Prof. Majidi's proposal on ``"Multi-Purpose Artificial Muscle and Sensor Array for Untethered Soft Robots'' is among seven university-led programs selected by NASA as part of its 2014 Early Career Faculty program. Details and a list of awardees is presented here. SML is grateful for this opportunity to help advance early stage technologies that address high priority needs for America's space program.


Paper on liquid microelectronics in Advanced Materials

Congratulations to Arda and Arya for having their paper on “High-Density Soft-Matter Electronics with Micron-Scale Line Width” published in Advanced Materials. This work introduces a new method to pattern liquid-phase Gallium-Indium alloy for stretchable microelectronics. [article link] [pdf]


Lauren Finkenauer receives NSF GRFP award

Congratulations to Lauren for being awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! This program recognizes and supports “outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.”

labsafety post

SML recognized for Lab Safety

SML was recognized by CMU’s Environmental Health & Safety for “Outstanding Achievement in Lab Safety”. We’re grateful to EH&S for the recognition and for the bagel party that they threw for us!

AFM paper post

Paper on soft electronics accepted for publication in Advanced Functional Materials

Congratulations to Tong, Lauren, and James for having their paper on “Rapid Prototyping for Soft-Matter Electronics” accepted in Advanced Functional Materials. This work introduces new methods to produce soft and elastically stretchable electronics in minutes with rapid prototyping. [article link] [pdf]

PopTech post

Prof. Majidi talks about Soft Robotics at the 2013 PopTech

Carmel discusses how the robots of the future will be elastically soft in order to accommodate physical interaction with people. This talk was presented last October at the 2013 PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine. Prof. Majidi participated as a 2013 Science Fellow.


Blog post in Scientific American Online on Soft Robotics

Online article by Katherine Harmon Courage includes quotes from Prof. Majidi’s paper “Soft Robotics – A Perspective: Current Trends and Prospects for the Future”. “Will the Robot Uprising Be Squishy?” highlights international efforts in this exciting and emerging field. The original article by Prof. Majidi is published in the new journal Soft Robotics.


Quote in Pop. Sci. article on Soft Robotics

Prof. Majidi quoted in the March 2013 issue of Popular Science for an article on Soft Robotics. “Soft Bots” Adam Hadhazy, Popular Science, March 2013.


2013 AFOSR YIP Award

Prof. Majidi is selected for the 2013 AFOSR Young Investigator Program. ``The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering.'' Go here for a list of all awardees.



Prof. Majidi is selected for the 2012 DARPA Young Faculty Award. The proposed work on ``Soft Machines and Electronics for Bio-inspired Robots
and Wearable Assistive Technologies'' will advance efforts related to DoD and national security issues. For details and a list of other awardees, go here.