EU Marie Curie International Training Network on Soft, Self-responsive, Smart MAterials for RoboTs

The SMART Innovative Training Network is a joint venture between academia and industry, providing scientific and personal development of young researchers in the multidisciplinary fields of soft robotics and smart materials. SMART will realize the technologically and scientifically ambitious breakthroughs to exploit smart, stimuli-responsive material systems for actuation, sensing and self-healing capabilities for intelligent soft devices. The use of this new generation materials in soft robots, will allow these systems to interact with dynamic and unknown environments in an intelligent fashion, to avert catastrophic failure and re-establish structural integrity and operational functionality.

Control intelligence enables interaction with the outer world and structural health monitoring allows the establishment of autonomous healing procedures, where upon sensing of damage or loss of functionality the system will cease operation and start a repair action, followed by the evaluation of the effective recovery of functionality and finally return to operation, thus expanding the service lifetime. These technologies will be integrated in fully functional and autonomous demonstrators to disseminate, benchmark and exploit the results.

There is a need for future leaders with excellence in smart material systems and technologically advanced applications such as robotics and automation. The SMART ITN offers such multidisciplinary training by combining these two emerging fields with meaningful societal and economic impact (T-model). For this purpose, SMART brings together 8 beneficiaries and 11 partner organizations including 2 research institutes and 12 private companies, belonging to 7 EU member states, and to 2 associated states (Switzerland, Turkey).

The consortium’s complementarity and multidisciplinarity will enable a top-level educational programme, with special focus on spanning TRL levels from innovative fundamentally new concepts to system prototypes and teaching them in a responsible research and innovation (RRI) spirit.

SMART training event @Pisa. August-September 2022

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860108.