Carmel Majidi is the Clarence H. Adamson Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he leads the Soft Machines Lab. His lab is dedicated to the discovery of novel material architectures that allow machines and electronics to be soft, elastically deformable, and biomechanically compatible. Currently, his research is focused on fluid-filled elastomers that exhibit unique combinations of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties and can function as “artificial” skin, nervous tissue, and muscle for soft robotics and wearables. Carmel has received grants from industry and federal agencies along with early career awards from DARPA, ONR, AFOSR, and NASA to explore challenges in soft-matter engineering and robotics. Prior to arriving at CMU, Prof. Majidi had postdoctoral appointments at Harvard and Princeton Universities and received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at UC Berkeley.
Soft Robots that Feel – Multimodal Sensing Skins for Soft Robot Grasping
By eliminating rigid materials and hard contacts, soft robot end effectors have the potential to revolutionize robot grasping and manipulation. However, their ability to sense and map objects is highly limited by the bulk and stiffness of existing sensor electronics. In this talk, I will present progress in creating soft electronic sensing skins that can be incorporated into soft robot grippers and enable a wide range of sensing modalities. These sensing skins utilize a variety of material architectures, from highly stretchable liquid metal circuits to soft magnetized elastomers. When combined with methods in machine learning, these skins can be used to enable soft robot grippers to perform a variety of closed-loop grasping tasks that were not previously possible with open-loop techniques. Moreover, they can also be used as wearable electronic stickers for monitoring health vitals. In addition to describing their material architecture and sensing properties, I will discuss the utilization of these sensors in a variety of applications, from humanoid robotics to healthcare.
Talk: Soft Robots that Feel – Multimodal Sensing Skins for Soft Robot Grasping