1) Exoskeleton robot

2) Climbing robot for nuclear power plant

3) Inspection robot for base station and engine room

4) Research on Key Technology and Applications of Robot Intelligent Control Based on Learning Human Actions

5) Low-cost robot SLAM

6) Service robot development

7) Magnetically actuated helical microswimmers: visual servo control

8) Rescue robot

9) Pet robot Nabao

10) Object recognition and 3D pose estimation based on deep learning technology

11) The non-contact four-wheel positioning system for commercial vehicles

12) The intelligent vision system for automatic screw machine for flexible manufacturing

13) Heterogeneous sensing system-based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle navigation

Research in the Complex Materials group focuses on the investigation of processing routes to create composite materials with complex hierarchical architectures and on the understanding of their structure-property relations at multiple length scales. Given the wide materials design space already explored by living organisms during natural selection, the team researchers are particularly interested in creating and studying artificial complex materials that resemble the structure of biological composites.

 The complexity of such natural structures requires the investigation of new approaches to direct the self-assembly of synthetic building blocks into intricate architectures that truly mimic the unique biological design. The bioinspired materials obtained using such synthetic routes provide the opportunity to study the design principles underlying the optimized solutions possibly found in natural systems and to eventually translate them into functional materials with unusual properties.

To systematically address these aspects, the team has established a research program that encompasses the investigation of self- and directed-assembly of colloids, the creation and investigation of bio-inspired composites, and the design of complex functional materials for specific applications.

(1) Kinetic Biomimetics - Kinematics bionics mainly studies the walking mechanism,, walking mode, kinematics and dynamics of animals and humans biped natural walking, forming a new type of walking bionic mechanism design, walking planning and stability control theory and method, so as to provide new design ideas, working principles and system composition for bionic robots and unmanned systems.

(2) Bio-sensing and Interaction - Bionic perception and interaction mainly studies the mechanism of biological perception and interaction, the theory, method and physical realization of bionic recognition and adaptation of the environment, and the bionic natural interaction mode and operation. Research the perception mechanism and physical realization of the vision and touch of the robot to obtain environmental information, construct the perception system model and the interaction and emotional communication mode with the surrounding environment.

(3) Cybernetics and Systems Integration - Bionic control and system integration mainly study biological control mechanisms and methods, and study the autonomous control of bionic robots based on modern control theories, making the control system robust and adaptable to environmental uncertainty, unmodeled dynamics and changes in the controlled object itself. Using artificial intelligence, control theory and bionics to study robot control problems, giving the robot a certain degree of autonomous movement ability; at the same time studying the structure optimization, resource allocation, organization and coordination of the bionic system.

(1) StretchSense - From coupling electric charge to soft rubbery materials, the Lab’s work led us to wearable stretchy sensors and soft energy harvesters. These can sense and collect power from human movement.

(2) Soft electronics for robots - A challenge in soft robotics is incorporating compatible driving electronics into soft structures. Conventional electronics are rigid and dense. To make entirely soft and autonomous robots, soft low density electronics are needed. To meet this challenge, the Biomimetics Lab developed the dielectric elastomer switch (DES) – a flexible electrode having strain-dependent conductivity. The DES controls charge to soft dielectric elastomer actuators, also known as artificial muscles. This means coupled switches and artificial muscles make up smart actuator networks that can be used to rhythmically drive biomimetic robots.

(3) Soft wearable game controller - Conventional human-computer interfaces are very restrictive, because they are designed to be operated on a desktop, by a person sitting in a chair. As a consequence, users are desk-bound, instead of enjoying an immersive interaction. Researchers have addressed these limitations with a wearable game controller for the popular 3D computer game ‘Doom’. The glove-shaped device captures finger movements with soft stretch sensors to change weapons, and uses an accelerometer for left and right, backward and forward movement. Players can now interact with Doom through body motion, which adds an exciting physical component to the game experience.

(4) Programmable rubber keyboard - This novel sensing method uses multiple sensing frequencies to target different regions of the same dielectric elastomer. It simultaneously detects position and pressure using only a single pair of connections. The dielectric elastomer is modelled as an RC transmission line and its internal voltage and current distribution are used to determine localised capacitance changes resulting from contact and pressure. No modifications of the sensing hardware or the dielectric elastomer are required to increase the number of locations. This sensing method is demonstrated on a multi-touch musical keyboard made from a single low cost carbon-based dielectric elastomer with four distinct musical tones mapped along a length of 0.1 m.

1) Biotensegrity - Taking inspiration from the complementary arrangement of bones and tendons in biology, the Lab uses separate elements for compressive and tensile loads to create lightweight structures capable of supporting large moment loads.

2) Tail Design for Maneuverability - The Biomimetic Robotics Lab investigates the way of using a tail to improve maneuverability of the MIT Cheetah. The research was initiated with the inspiration from videos, showing that the cheetah’s turn is accompanied by a movement of its tail, and some researches in biology, describing that cats or dogs are moving their tail during locomotion. Researchers end up with hypothesizing that a tail may enhance balance of the legged robot.

3) MIT HERMES Project - The MIT HERMES humanoid robot system is designed for studying whole-body human-in-the-loop control with balance feedback. Inspired by the innate physical control capabilities of humans as well as the capacity for creative learning, we explore the use of the full-body of the human operator as the controller for a humanoid robot.

4) Optimal Actuator Design - In designing a robot, the actuator’s allowable mass and required output torque are determined by the application. However, these requirements still leave a broad design space within which to select motor size and gear ratio. The Lab has developed an actuator design method that enables force control in applications with highly dynamic environmental interactions. The method optimizes the motor selection and gear ratio for high fidelity proprioceptive force control within given actuator weight constraints. They implemented the method in the primary actuators of the MIT Cheetah.

5) Swing Leg Retraction - Swing leg retraction (SLR) is a behavior exhibited by humans and animals in which the airborne front leg rotates rearward prior to touchdown. The Biomimetic Robotics Lab investigates the effects of swing leg retraction on several metrics of running performance to develop intuition for robot controller design.

6) Design Principles for Multi-Axis, Large Force Magnitude Sensor Arrays for Use in Human and Robotic Applications - Using new design principles and methodologies, researchers have developed a multi-axis, large force detecting foot sensor for legged robots. This footpad sensor is intended for use on the MIT Cheetah to provide a complete picture of the ground interaction forces that is a necessity in enabling high-speed and dynamic ground locomotion.

7) Dynamic Locomotion for the MIT Cheetah 2 - The purpose of this project is to expand the autonomous navigation capabilities for the MIT Cheetah 2 robot. Recent work has led to the development of a high-speed running controller which is capable of running between 0-6.4 m/s without changing any controller parameters. This controller has enabled the development of a higher-level controller to coordinate autonomous jumps to clear obstacles. The cheetah robot is able to jump over obstacles up to 40 cm in height while running at 2.4 m/s.

The team mainly engaged in the research of the synthesis and preparation of biomimetic interface materials in the field of interdisciplinary science, mainly in the following aspects:  

1) By learning from nature, studying the special infiltration of the surface of a variety of organisms, revealing the formation mechanism of superhydrophobicity on the surface of organisms, providing a basis for the design and preparation of related bionic interfaces and smart materials;

2) Biomimetic preparation of super-hydrophobic interface materials, and realizing a multi-functional combination of super-hydrophobic surfaces, and at the same time combining different types of special wettability, such as super oleophobic/super hydrophobic (super double hydrophobic), super lipophilic/super hydrophilic (super amphiphilic), super oleophobic/superhydrophilic, superhydrophobic/super oleophilic combination to establish a bionic superhydrophobic interface material system;

3) Through systematic research on the structure and characteristics of interface materials, the "dual synergy effect of nano interface materials" was proposed, and the biomimetic micro-nano composite structure was creatively combined with external field responsive molecular design to achieve the reversible change of material surface wettability under the control of single or multiple external fields;

4) By extending the dual (pro-/sparse) design concept of a single physical property (infiltration) to other physical property systems, a design program for biomimetic intelligent multi-scale interface materials is proposed, which provides a new method for the development of biomimetic interface material systems.

The Lewis Lab focuses on the programmable assembly of soft materials. Designing and fabricating functional, structural and biological materials with controlled composition and architecture across multiple length scales are specifically studied. Architected soft matter may find potential application as electronics, optical materials, lightweight structures, and 3D vascularized tissues. The group is divided into three main sub-groups with a rich and overlapping set of interests:

1) Functional Materials - The group is designing novel inks and printheads for printing functional materials with locally tailored composition, structure, and properties. Specific materials and devices of interest, include soft electronics, sensors, and robotics as well as customized rechargeable batteries.

2) Structural Materials - The group is designing lightweight architectures with locally tailored composition, structure, and properties. Specific materials and architectures of interest range from stimuli-responsive, shape-morphing hydrogels to epoxy-based composites.

3) Bioprinting - The group created a multi-material, bioprinting platform that enables the fabrication of 3D tissues composed of multiple cell types, engineered extracellular matrices, and vasculature. These vascularized tissues are under development for fundamental studies related to drug screening, disease modeling, and tissue repair and regeneration.

The Biomimetic and Nanochemistry Laboratory mainly includes the following research topics:

1) Bio-inspired synthesis and self-assembly of advanced inorganic materials;

2) Templated-directed organization of nanoparticles;

3) Novel inorganic synthesis;

4) Synthesis of biominerals and their applications; 

5) Optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic properties of low dimensional nanostructured materials and their applications in nanodevices and biotechnology.

The Aizenberg Lab's research is aimed at understanding some of the basic principles of biological architectures and the economy with which biology solves complex problems in the design of multifunctional, adaptive materials. The goal is to use biological principles as guidance in developing new, bio-inspired synthetic routes and nanofabrication strategies that would lead to advanced materials and devices, with broad impact in fields ranging from architecture to energy efficiency to medicine. The lab pursues a wide range of research interests that include adaptive materials, bio-mineralization, surface science and self-cleaning materials, bio-inspired optics, self-assembly, nanofabrication, and bio-nano interfaces.

The Key Laboratory of Bionic Engineering, Ministry of Education of Jilin University mainly includes the following research topics:

1) Bionic terrain machine desorption and resistance reduction technology

2) Bionic tribology and bionic materials

3) Bionic walking technology on soft terrain

4) Bio-production processing mechanical design and bionic technology