MechE Colloquium: Coiled Muscles x Snapping Beams: From Nonlinear Mechanics to Miniature Robotic Design


Event details

Date 04.04.2023
Hour 12:0013:00
Speaker Prof. Sameh Tawfick, Kinetic Materials Research Group, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Abstract: My group is developing a roadmap to replace bulky electric motors in miniature robotic functions requiring large mechanical work output.

First, I will describe the mechanics of hierarchical super-, and hyper-coiled artificial muscles which generate contractile motion during actuation. I will explain our current understanding of the interplay between their nonlinear mechanics and material microstructure. Next, I will describe their use to actuate the dynamic snapping of insect-scale jumping robots. The combination of strong but slow muscles with a fast-snapping beam gives rise to dynamic buckling cascade phenomena leading to effective robotic jumping mechanisms.

These examples shed light on the future of automation propelled by new bioinspired materials, nonlinear mechanics, and unusual manufacturing processes.

Biography: Sameh Tawfick is a Visiting Professor in the University of Cambridge and a Beaufort Visiting Fellow in St John’s College. Prof. Tawfick's home institution is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he is currently an Associate Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering, having received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. Sam obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan and was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studies advanced materials, nonlinear mechanics, and manufacturing processes. He is the recipient of young investigator awards from the US Air Force, ASME, and SME.  His teaching awards at the University of Illinois include The Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, The Two-year Alumni Teaching Award, and The Engineering Council Stanley H. Pierce Award for Empathetic Student-faculty Cooperation.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



MechE Colloquium: Coiled Muscles x Snapping Beams: From Nonlinear Mechanics to Miniature Robotic Design