Yao-Yu Xiao and Zhi-Chao Jiang
PhD students in Chemistry
Université de Sherbrooke
Award-winning publication: Biomimetic Locomotion of Electrically Powered "Janus" Soft Robots Using a Liquid Crystal Polymer
Published in: Advanced Materials
As part of their research, Yao-Yu Xiao and Zhi-Chao Jiang relied on a liquid crystal polymer to develop soft robots. Powered by an intermittent electric current, the robots are able to crawl like a caterpillar by stretching and contracting to mimick an undulating movement and walk like an animal on four legs and even on two legs while pushing a load. Unlike standard robots, which are built from circuits and devices controlled by a computer system, the soft robots only require thin resistive wires to generate a heating effect. They represent a giant step toward a new generation of robots.