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Bio-Inspired Active Skins for Surface Morphing.

  • Author(s): Park, Yujin;
  • Vella, Gianmarco;
  • Loh, Kenneth J
  • et al.

Mechanical metamaterials that leverage precise geometrical designs and imperfections to induce unique material behavior have garnered significant attention. This study proposes a Bio-Inspired Active Skin (BIAS) as a new class of instability-induced morphable structures, where selective out-of-plane material deformations can be pre-programmed during design and activated by in-plane strains. The deformation mechanism of a unit cell geometrical design is analyzed to identify how the introduction of hinge-like notches or instabilities, versus their pristine counterparts, can pave way for controlling bulk BIAS behavior. Two-dimensional arrays of repeating unit cells were fabricated, with notches implemented at key locations throughout the structure, to harvest the instability-induced surface features for applications such as camouflage, surface morphing, and soft robotic grippers.

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