Science of Soft Robots – Interdisciplinary integration of mechatronics, material science, and bio-computing

B01-23 : Soft chemical micropump actuated by self-oscillating polymer gel


Leader Yo Tanaka (RIKEN)

Tanaka et al. have so far developed original, flexible materials including an ultra-thin glass sheet and in addition to them, life-machine fusion devices have been developed working with just chemical energy input and driving autonomously exploiting the unique properties of life systems.  However, it requires time to be developed for more practical devices.  It is necessary to develop devices using artificial materials advanced from such life-machine fusion devices.  Here, Tanaka et al. focused on a self-oscillating polymer gel developed by Prof. Shingo Maeda (Shibaura Institute of Technology) to create an autonomously actuated micropump converting chemical energy into displacements of a thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) sheet to produce a directional flow via micro check valves using this gel instead of cardiomyocytes.  Also, the collaborations with researchers in this innovative area of soft robotics regarding development of flexible materials and life-machine fusion devices (mimosa pudica devices and so on) will be continued and promoted.