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


The work of collaboration with EPFL published in Nature

A tiny stretchable pump driven by electricity has been developed by an international collaborative research group of Prof. Dr. V. Cacucciolo and Prof. H. Shea of EPFL-LMTS (Soft Transducers Lab, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Dr. J. Shintake and Prof. D. Floreano of EPFL-LIS (Laboratory of Intelligent Systems) and the area members of Prof. S. Maeda (Group A03) of Shibaura Institute of Technology and Prof. J. Shintake (Group B01) of University of Electro-Communications. The researchers’ work has just appeared in the electronic version of Nature on 14th August.

This pump is flexible, lightweight (only one gram), and silent, which is an innovative technology that could replace the rigid, noisy and bulky pumps currently used.  The technology is expected to play a big role to realize autonomous soft robots, lightweight powered exoskeletons, and smart clothing.

For further continuous research development, Prof. H. Nabae (Group A02) of Tokyo Institute of Technology has just started a collaborative research with Prof. Shea’s group of EPFL on 18th August under the support for junior researchers of the research area.

Paper title: Stretchable pumps for soft machines

Link to the paper:

The research group:

  • École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
    EPFL Soft Transducers Lab (EPFL-LMTS). Dr. V. Cacucciolo, and Prof. H. Shea
    EPFL Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (EPFL-LIS). Dr. J. Shintake and Prof. D. Floreano
  • Shibaura Institute of Technology
    Mechanical Engineering, Graduate school of Engineering and Science
    Smart Materials Lab,
    Y. Kuwajima
    Prof. S. Maeda

University of Electro-Communications
Prof. J. Shintake