Towards multi-cellular engineering materials

22 Febbraio 2019 15:30
Aula F1.4, Padiglione Buccola-Bisi, complesso San Lazzaro, via G. Amendola 2, Reggio Emilia - Aula F1.4, Padiglione Buccola-Bisi, complesso San Lazzaro, via G. Amendola 2, Reggio Emilia

Relatore: dott. Nikolaus Correll, associate professor at the Department of Computer Science with courtesy appointments at  the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Evento del ciclo di seminari organizzato da ROBOMORE (, l’iniziativa di robotica di Ateneo.

Abstract: Natural materials achieve a wide range of properties and multi-functionality using a multi-cellular approach. Albeit humans are
now able to (almost) match the properties of dead wood, leather, and bone, we rarely think about the amazing functionality living wood,
skin, or bone have to offer and what it would take to create such materials from cellular building blocks. In this talk, I describe our
recent efforts in creating building blocks for creating multi-cellular engineered materials. Based on smart pellets that provide sensing,
actuation, computation and communication, we envision to create future mechatronic devices by simply mixing these pellets into functional polymers.  Albeit coarse, we are able to implement a wide range of artifacts from identical cells ranging from a remote control, keyboard and mouse, to the game of Tetris. We are using a spatial programming approach that relies on key primitives such as synchronization, consensus and distributed localization. Although the substrate of future cellular building blocks might change from silicon to biological matter or combinations thereof, I argue that the key challenges that arise from real world uncertainty will persist and can inspire the design of algorithms of future engineered systems today, which will serve as a blueprint for interdisciplinary efforts in
material science, chemistry and biology.


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