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Yonghua Chen
Yonghua Chen, PhD
Associate professor
the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hong Kong. China

Dr. Y.H. Chen is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong. He has worked intensively on Additive Manufacturing and Robotics in the past 20 years. Dr. Chen has co-authored more than 200 journal and conference papers, two books, and 5 patents. Recently, he has secured more than $8 million to conduct research on biomimetic and soft robotics. Since 1997, Dr. Chen has organized more than 10 international conferences on manufacturing and automation. He has also served as editorial members for 5 international journals. He is now taking on the challenge of 3D printing smart robotics that could be driven by tissue-engineered muscle.

3D Printing Smart Soft Robotics

Soft robotics is currently a hot topic in robotic research mainly due to soft robots’ inherent property of compliance to environments and safe interaction with humans. This article presents the development of 3D printing of soft robots with sensors and actuators without the need of assembly. Shape memory Polymers (SMP) have the ability to return from a deformed state (temporary shape) to their original (permanent) shape induced by an external stimulus (trigger), such as temperature change. This property of SMP has been tapped for the design of soft robots. The design of a soft robot, normally has complex shapes, could be fabricated by a 3D printing process.
In this article, critical extrusion process parameters have been experimented to determine an appropriate set of parameter values so that good quality SMP filament could be made for FDM. In the FDM process, effects of different printing parameters such as extruder temperature and scanning speed on object printing quality are also studied. In all the process studies, we aim to achieve good quality parts by evaluating part density, tensile strength, dimensional accuracy and surface roughness. Based on these studies, sample SMP parts such as that in Fig.1 have been successfully built. Due to the thermal sensitive nature of the printed SMP part in Fig.1(a). it can be used as a gripper stimulated by thermal stimulation as in Fig.1(b). The novel design and 3D printing of a bio-inspired soft robotic finger as shown in Fig.2 is also presented in this article. The robotic finger is co-printed with two materials, one for sensors (pressure and angular position) and the other for actuator. Its characterization and performance will be presented and discussed.

  • DAYS
Key Dates
   Deadline for Submission of Abstract:
  October 31, 2018
   Notification of abstract acceptance:
   November 15, 2018