Edward Rees

Research project title: 
Mimicking the protective, tactile, and interface capabilities of human skin for soft robotics
Principal goal for project: 
The principal objective of the project is to develop smart, multimodal materials using scalable, low cost, and environmentally conscious manufacturing methods
Research project: 

Human skin strikes an optimal balance between flexibility and tensile strength whilst incorporating sensory, thermoregulatory, and regenerative capabilities which makes it a suitable source of inspiration for the development of materials for soft robots. This project’s aim is to replicate the multilayered structure of human skin - a thin outer protective layer (epidermis) above a thicker layer (dermis) formed of collagen (stress resistant) and elastin (elastic). A layer of subcutaneous fat sits beneath the epidermis and dermis which dampens external impact. This project seeks to use multi-scale advanced manufacture (i.e. lithography, additive manufacture, moulding) to create flexible skins at multi scales that will replicate the skin’s structure. Such skins have applications as materials for use in soft robotics where flexible, yet damage resilient materials are required or in a clinical setting as biocompatible wound coverings.

Student type: 
Current student