HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Cactus-inspired design principles for soft robotics based on 3D printed hydrogel-elastomer systems

Abstract : Plants have evolved many capabilities to anchor, position their stems and leaves favourably, and adapt themselves to different environmental conditions by virtue of growing. Selenicereus setaceus is a cactus and is an impressive example of a climbing plant found mostly in the Atlantic forest formations of southern Brazil. This cactus displays striking changes in stem geometry along different stages of growth: older parts are circular while the younger parts are star-like in shape. Such a transformation in shape optimizes its flexural rigidity and allows the cactus to search in three-dimensionally complex environments. Its organisation offers novel schemes for the design of plant-inspired soft robotic systems. In this paper, we have created multi-material systems for soft robotics that display controlled movements as well as mimicking the cactus stem geometries from star-like to circular. The unique star-shaped geometry is 3D printed using a soft elastomer and hydrogel is used as an actuating component. Through anisotropic swelling, the hydrogel-elastomer system adjusts its configuration and shows a controlled movement. Furthermore, the isotropic swelling of the hydrogel of the artificial cactus multi-material system result in the change in shape from star-like to circular as the cactus does naturally in the tropical forest.
Complete list of metadata

Contributor : Yannick Brohard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 11:08:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:55:24 AM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Anil Bastola, Nadia Rodriguez, Marc Behl, Patricia Soffiatti, Nick P Rowe, et al.. Cactus-inspired design principles for soft robotics based on 3D printed hydrogel-elastomer systems. Materials and Design, Elsevier, 2021, 202, pp.109515. ⟨10.1016/j.matdes.2021.109515⟩. ⟨hal-03173025⟩



Record views


Files downloads