PARTNER INSTITUTIONS

BUCHEM

EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology)

EMPA is the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology which conducts cutting-edge materials and technology research, generating interdisciplinary solutions.

The Functional Polymeric Materials research group at Empa  is well known for the synthesis of elastomers with high dielectric permittivity for electrically driven actuators, sensors and generators. Current research is concentrated on polysiloxanes, which are either chemically modified with polar groups or blended with conductive or polable nanoparticles. This research combines fundamental with applied aspects and reaches all the way to functional devices, which as the ultimate goal will help meet societal needs.

In the High Performace Ceramic Laboratory, we are interested in the development of thermoplastic elastomer-based sensor and actuator materials for soft robotic applications. Synthesized inorganic fillers are used to achieve addtional functionalty in thermoplastic elastomer- based materials. We use 3D printing technology to integrate the sensor and actuator material inside an elastomer-based soft strucure. The idea is to monitor in situ or directly actuate soft robotic printed structures.

Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL)

The Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL) is the leading Austrian “Center of Excellence” for cooperative research in the area of polymer engineering and sciences. In close cooperation with its scientific partners, more than 130 highly qualified employees are active in a wide field of applications for polymers ranging from automotive and aircraft, to packaging and photovoltaic industries. By linking scientific knowledge to the industrial need for innovation, PCCL contributes to the competitiveness of its industrial partners who cooperate on the basis of medium- and long-term R&D projects with the PCCL.

SupraPolix (SUPRA)

SupraPolix is a young company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, that is developing innovative supramolecular polymeric materials for self-healing and biomedical applications. Our SupraB™-materials deliver unique processing and rheological benefits together with tunable material performance critically needed in the application of choice. 

By partnering in SMART, SupraPolix wants to broaden the usage of its self-healing polymers into soft-robotics applications.   

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Sciences (SSSA)

The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) conducts theoretical and experimental research in Biorobotics with a strong tendency toward integrating heterogeneous bodies of knowledge, of both scientific and humanistic nature, in order to study the theoretical and practical problems associated with the development of advanced robotic systems. Over the course of its history, it has built and consolidated a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fields of Medical Robotics, Service Robotics, Humanoid Robotics, Neurorobotics, Bionics, Assistive Robotics, Biomimetic Robotics, Soft Robotics and Marine Robotics.

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is the only flagship in engineering and IT science and education in Estonia, providing higher education at all levels in Engineering and technology, information technology, economics, science, and maritime. TalTech’s mission is to be a promoter of science, technology, and innovation and a leading provider of engineering and economic education in Estonia.

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UCAM)

For more than eight hundred years, the University of Cambridge has nurtured generation after generation of students who then became leading figures in science, industry and politics.

Consistently rated among the top universities in both national and international league tables, the University of Cambridge offers a world leading education at both: undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Excellence in education is supported by excellence in research.   

For this reason the University of Cambridge is often invited to take part in cutting-edge research projects, such as SMART. With a global outlook, the University of Cambridge is actively contributing to the wellbeing of society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

SMART programme is being run at the Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory (BIRL) that investigates the intersection of robotics and biology, with the main goal of contributing to a deeper understanding of embodied intelligence, adaptivity and autonomy of animals through the investigation of dynamic compliant robots and to engineer novel robotic applications, which are more adaptive, resilient and energy efficient.

Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science (FYSC) research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

The Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science (FYSC) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium conducts both fundamental and applied research in the field of materials sciences. Through its characterization expertise, FYSC’s polymer research activities are focused on gaining insight in the molecular and supramolecular structure-processing-property relations in synthetic, bio-based, and natural polymers for developing sustainable materials with improved performance.

Robotics & MultiBody Mechanics (R&MM) research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

The Robotics & MultiBody Mechanics (R&MM) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is well known for the design and control of softs actuators, implemented in robots with applications in physical human-robot interactions. R&MM’s current research is applied mainly in the manufacturing industry and in healthcare and part of Brubotics, a multidisciplinary research group on the topic of Human Robotics and affiliated with imec.