We are currently looking for two PhD students!
Both PhD projects will be part of the ERC starting grant of prof. Benjamin Gorissen, on building interactive fluidic state machines for soft robotics, called project ILUMIS. Both will be transforming the field of soft robotics by harnessing nonlinearities in a fluidic network, one focusing on the interconnections between, the other on the fluid inside.
About ILUMIS: Actuation, energy storage, sensing, and logic are four functionalities of both natural and artificial organisms, giving them the ability to thrive in their environment. As demonstrated in nature by the common octopus, the distribution of these four functionalities throughout the body creates a blueprint for autonomous and intelligent behavior. This concept of ‘functional embodiment’ is currently non-existing in soft robotics. ILUMIS will create soft robots with embodied functionality by transitioning from a conventional robotic architecture to a fluidic network architecture. Further, by incorporating nonlinearities in all the network elements, the global system acts as a state machine, meaning that the output not only depends on the input, but also on its internal state. How to navigate this state space will be encoded within the nonlinearities, creating embodied intelligence. ILUMIS will overcome the main challenges of inverse design, where a desired behavior requires the optimization of a network of nonlinear structures. Thereby ILUMIS will create a new blueprint for soft robotic design with embodied functionality that closes the gap with nature’s soft organisms.
Please use the links below for more information and to apply!