Academy of Finland  
Funding decision
Organisation Tampere University
Project title Conducting Liquid Crystal Elastomer Actuators
Applicant / Contact person Ruoko, Tero-Petri
Decision No. 340103
Decision date 03.06.2021
Funding period 01.09.2021 - 31.08.2024
Funding 262 040
Project description
The overall goal of this cross-disciplinary project is to combine stretchable electronics with soft robotics in order to build up a novel materials platform that possesses multifunctional electronic control, sensing, and signaling coupled with actuation in response to external stimuli, such as electricity, heat, and light. The stimuli-response of the actuator brings about possibilities towards autonomous action, where it can sense the environment and act accordingly, representing multifunctional materials where the matrix has an active role in functionality. The unique combination of properties and functionalities promises coupled sensing and actuation that could have a transformative impact on the use of liquid crystal elastomers in soft matter applications. The conducting actuators developed herein have promising applications as programmable multifunctional soft microrobotics.