Light-controlled autonomous soft robots mimic nature

The research of Owies Wani in his doctoral dissertation Bioinspired Light Robots reveals how nano-scale robots can mimic nature.


Owies Wani defended his doctoral dissertation Bioinspired Light Robots from Liquid Crystal Networks at Tampere University on Friday May 17. Professor Time White from University Colorado Boulder acted as the opponent and Professor Arri Priimägi as the custos.

  Owies Wani defence.jpg

Bioinspired material research aims at learning from the sophisticated design principles of nature, in order to develop new artificial materials with advanced functionalities. Once the design principles are understood, it becomes viable to mimic some of the functional aspects from biology and
consequently more advanced materials can be developed.

Owies Wani’s research is inspired by biological systems such as octopus arm movements, iris movements in eyes, object detection and capturing ability of Venus flytraps and opening and closing of certain nocturnal flowers.  Light robots mimicking these natural objects can be programmed to show pre-determined shape changes. By employing a proper device design, these light robots can even show the characteristics of self-regulation and object recognition, which brings new advances to the field of LCNbased light robots.

   TUNI_wani.pdf.jpg   Owies Wani Bioinspired Light Robots from Liquid Crystal Networks