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SMART Laboratory – Smart Materials and Autonomous Robotic Technology

SMART Laboratory – Smart Materials and Autonomous Robotic Technology

The intent of this multi-disciplinary lab is to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to the science of stimulus-active materials, robotic design and electromechanical transducer technology.  Stimulus-active materials display the ability to deform or change shape under the influence of an external stimulus, such as electricity, heat, magnetic fields, light, pH value, and humidity.  Research students use biomimetic relationships to create naturally influenced devices which exhibit fluid/human–like sensing and motion. The goal of the lab is to develop novel biomimetic inspired robotic and medical devices with the assistance of stimulus-active materials.

During the winter quarter students have the opportunity to participate in the Introduction to Robotics course held in the lab.  Throughout the robotics class, 4th and 5th year students are taught fundamental information about microcontroller processing, robotic design and critical thinking.  Once students have learned the basics of robotics in the first half of the quarter through graded lab experiments they are split up into teams.  In these teams, students are instructed to design, fabricate and test a robotic system.  The task of the robotic system is chosen by the student group and approved by the professor. Dr. Wayne Walter manages this lab.

Equipment in the Lab:

  • High Voltage Power Supply
  • Various Microcontroller Devices
  • Robotic Sensors & Actuators
  • Digital Logic Tools
  • Digital Instrumentation

Recent work was supported by a grant from the RIT/RGHS Alliance.

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