The research objectives are hierarchically ordered in accordance with the corresponding WPs as follows:

  • To formulate the necessary specifications/demands on magnetic soft materials for the envisaged applications (soft grippers and finger joints with variable stiffness as well as soft mobile robots with legs and/or wheels). → WP1: Requirements engineering (specifications and their revision). We will begin with preliminary specifications, which will be reassessed and revised each year during the Annual Meeting (AM).
  • To develop magnetic soft materials with required properties based on innovative chemical synthesis of MAEs and magnetic liquids. → WP2: Chemical synthesis of magnetic soft materials.
  • To establish the structure – property relationships between the synthesized composite materials and their resulting properties based on the material characterization, development of new characterization methods and exploration of the achieved variations in material properties. → WP3: Characterization and exploration of magnetic soft matter.
  • To design and develop the soft robot systems including the mechanical parts, the necessary electrical and magnetic control circuits, and the adaptive control algorithms for real-time discrete/continuous magnetic field tunning (real-time, programmable, soft material) and robot behaviour generation. → WP4: Mechanical design, electronic and magnetic circuits, control engineering.
  • To simulate the physical properties and resulting behaviour of magnetosensitive composite materials, such as magnetic-field-dependent elastic modulus, surface roughness, friction, adhesion, etc. → WP5: Modelling and simulation. The resulting response of magnetosensitive components in magnetic fields includes deformation of an MAE finger gripper and an MAE robot leg.
  • To fabricate useful soft robot prototypes and demonstrate their functionality based on adaptive, universal, object manipulation of soft robot grippers as well as adaptive, versatile, robust, energy-efficient locomotion of soft mobile robots on various terrains. → WP6: Demonstrators (prototypes).