Lucia Beccai

Lucia Beccai
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Center for Micro-BioRobotics

PhD

About

145
Publications
47,607
Reads
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4,478
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - present
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Senior Researcher
November 2009 - January 2015
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Researcher - Team Leader
January 2008 - October 2009
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (145)
Chapter
Full-text available
In the past few years, vacuum-powered soft actuators have shown strong potential due to their promising mechanical performance (i.e., fail-safe, fast response, compactness, robustness, jamming, etc.). Indeed, they have been widely exploited in soft robots, for example, grippers and manipulators, wearable devices, locomotion robots, etc. In contrast...
Article
Full-text available
Soft robots must embody mechanosensing capabilities to merge and act in the environment. Stretchable waveguides are making the mark in soft mechanical sensing since they are built from pristine elastomers....
Article
Full-text available
Perception in soft robotics is crucial to allow a safe interaction to effectively explore the environment. Despite the inherent capabilities of soft materials, embedding reliable sensing in soft actuators or robots could introduce constraints in the overall design (e.g., loss of deformability, undesired trajectories, etc.) or reduce their compliant...
Article
Full-text available
Direct laser lithography (DLL) is a key enabling technology for 3D constructs at the microscale and its potential is rapidly growing toward the development of active microstructures. The rationale of this work is based on the different involved methodology, which is referred as indirect, when passive microstructures become active through postproces...
Article
Full-text available
Soft robotics is a growing field of research, focusing on constructing motor‐less robots from highly compliant materials, some are similar to those found in living organisms. Soft robotics has a high potential for applications in various fields such as soft grippers, actuators, and biomedical devices. 3D printing of soft robotics presents a novel a...
Article
Full-text available
Pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) are one of the key technologies in soft robotics, and they enable actuation in mobile robots, in wearable devices and exoskeletons for assistive and rehabilitative purposes. While they recently showed relevant improvements, they still present quite low payload, limited bandwidth, and lack of repeatability, contro...
Article
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The limits of space travel are continuously evolving, and this creates increasingly extreme challenges for the crew’s health that must be addressed by the scientific community. Long-term exposure to micro-gravity, during orbital flights, contributes to muscle strength degradation and increases bone density loss. In recent years, several exercise de...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The enhancement of stiffness in many soft actuators and architectures is required to produce a large blocking force or to achieve multidimensional deformations. This paper introduces a new method exploiting Kirigami inspired kinematic architecture. Usually, Kirigami structures are made of rigid materials (i.e., thin sheets). Instead, in this study...
Article
Full-text available
Conductive and stretchable electrodes that can be printed directly on a stretchable substrate have drawn extensive attention for wearable electronics and electronic skins. Printable inks that contain liquid metal are strong candidates for these applications, but the insulating oxide skin that forms around the liquid metal particles limits their con...
Article
Full-text available
Sensors detecting angles created by deformable structures play an increasing role in soft robotics and wearable systems. However, the typical sensing method based on strain measurement strongly depends on the viscoelastic behaviors of soft substrates and on the location of sensors that affect the sensing reliability. In this work, the changes in ma...
Preprint
The protocol outlines the fabrication process of UH-PAM, and it prompts you with the details to repeat and reproduce our works.
Preprint
The protocol outlines the fabrication process of UH-PAM, and it prompts you with the details to repeat and reproduce our works.
Preprint
A protocol outlines the fabrication process of UH-PAM, and will prompt you, ensuring repeatability and reproducibility of our works.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Tactile sensors should be immune to electromagnetic interference (EMI), to provide repeatable and accurate signal of the physical touch for real-world applications. Soft Inductive Tactile Sensors (SITS) can achieve high performance, but could be affected by EMI. Here, we present the development of fully shielded (FS-) SITS using conductive textile...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents an ultra-light, highly compressible, resistive sensor based on open-cell polyurethane foam coated with PEDOT:PSS. A novel electrodes configuration is developed to eliminate the unstable contact resistance, providing reliable electrical and mechanical connections for foam-based sensors. Thereby, the proposed sensors have a low re...
Article
Sensory Textile Based Clutch (STBC) activated by vacuum is presented. The STBC is an assembly of two inextensible webbings equipped with 2.3 mm‐wide rigid bumps fabricated directly on them by hot embossing technique, and two elastic bands, all air sealed by a silicone elastomer cover. While in passive mode the clutch provides low resistance to elon...
Data
A 2.5 mins short video clip to highlight our work ""A Wireless Inductive Sensing Technology for Soft Pneumatic Actuators Using Magnetorheological Elastomers" presented at the IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2019), in Seoul, Korea. Demonstration and test video clips of the sensorized flat SPA and bending SPA were included.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a novel wireless inductive sensing solution to measure body deformation of soft pneumatic actuators (SPAs). The proposed technology exploits a magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) both as actuator’s highly deformable skin and as target of the inductive sensor. When the MRE skin is deformed by internal driving and/or external load,...
Chapter
In this work we describe the developments of soft mechanical sensing technologies for XoSoft, a soft lower-limb exoskeleton for assisting people with low to moderate levels or reduced mobility. Starting from the results obtained in integrating capacitive strain sensors in standalone knee and ankle modules, we embed the capacitance constituent elect...
Chapter
Soft exoskeletons hold promise for facilitating monitoring and assistance in case of light impairment and for prolonging independent living. In contrast to rigid material-based exoskeletons, they strongly demand for new approaches of soft sensing and actuation solutions. This chapter overviews soft exoskeletons in contrast to rigid exoskeletons and...
Article
Full-text available
Progress towards green and autonomous energy sources includes harnessing living systems and biological tissue. It is recently discovered that the cuticle‐cellular tissue bilayer in higher plant leaves functions as an integrated triboelectric generator conductor couple capable of converting mechanical stimuli into electricity. Here, it is investigat...
Article
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Tactile feedback is needed for the interaction of humans with a worn device, and to enable robots to gather environmental cues and react to their surroundings [...]
Article
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Living beings use mechanical interaction with the environment to gather essential cues for implementing necessary movements and actions. This process is mediated by biomechanics, primarily of the sensory structures, meaning that, at first, mechanical stimuli are morphologically computed. In the present paper, we select and review cases of specializ...
Article
Supersonic cluster beam implantation of Ag nanoparticles is proposed for the fabrication of stretchable and compliant electrodes for dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) with reduced thickness. Thanks to the low-energy and finely tunable implantation process, a nanocomposite Ag/polydimethylsiloxane electrode layer is produced with a moderate stiff...
Article
Full-text available
In the past few years, soft robotics has been rising up rapidly as an emerging research topic, opening new possibilities for addressing real-world tasks. Perception can enable robots to effectively explore the unknown world, and interact safely with humans and the environment. Among all extero-and proprioception modalities, the detection of mechani...
Article
Tactile sensors are essential for robotic systems to safely and effectively interact with the environment and humans. In particular, tri-axis tactile sensors are crucial for dexterous robotic manipulations by providing shear force, slip or contact angle information. The Soft Inductive Tactile Sensor (SITS) is a new type of tactile sensor that measu...
Article
Full-text available
Revealing human movement requires lightweight, flexible systems capable of detecting mechanical parameters (like strain and pressure) while being worn comfortably by the user, and not interfering with his/her activity. In this work we address such multifaceted challenge with the development of smart garments for lower limb motion detection, like a...
Preprint
Detection of human movement requires lightweight, flexible systems to detect mechanical parameters (like strain and pressure) not interfering with user activity, and that he/she can wear comfortably. In this work we address such multifaceted challenge with the development of smart garments for lower limb motion detection, like a textile kneepad and...
Chapter
Full-text available
We focus on studying ways to encode mechanical information with soft sensing systems to provide future robots with exteroception and proprioception capabilities, as naturally as possible. Recently, we have shown developments on soft artificial mechanosensing by exploiting smart layouts in combination with soft materials, like elastomers and conduct...
Conference Paper
In plants, particular biomechanical protruding structures, tactile bleps, are thought to be specialized tactile sensory organs and sensitive to shear force. In this work, we present a 2D finite element analysis of a simplified plant-inspired capacitive tactile sensor. These preliminary results show that the variation of geometrical and material par...
Article
Full-text available
Soft robots should move in an unstructured environment and explore it and, to do so, they should be able to measure and distinguish proprioceptive and exteroceptive stimuli. This can be done by embedding mechanosensing systems in the body of the robot. Here, we present a polydimethylsiloxane block sensorized with an electro-optical system and a res...
Article
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NP is supported by the European Research Council PoC 2015 “Silkene” No. 693670 and by the European Commission H2020 under the Graphene Flagship Core 1 No. 696656 (WP14 “Polymer Nanocomposites”) and under the FET Proactive “Neurofibres” No. 732344.
Chapter
Plants have a sessile lifestyle, and, as a consequence, their structures have a modular organization to ensure surviving in case of environmental damage or predation. Moreover, they developed strategies for efficiently use the resources available in their surroundings, and a well-organized sensing system that allows them to explore the environment...
Article
Full-text available
We present the design and development of a plant-inspired robot, named Plantoid, with sensorized robotic roots. Natural roots have a multi-sensing capability and show a soft bending behaviour to follow or escape from various environmental parameters (i.e., tropisms). Analogously, we implement soft bending capabilities in our robotic roots by design...
Article
Three-dimensionally micropatterned surfaces are attracting increasing interest in soft robotics owing to the potential of mimicking natural morphologies at the micro/nanoscale. We employ direct laser lithography to fabricate moulds with complex 3D micrometric features, in positive photoresist on flexible substrates, to pattern curved macroscopic so...
Article
Full-text available
Cephalopods such as octopuses have a combination of a stretchable skin and color-tuning organs to control both posture and color for visual communication and disguise. We present an electroluminescent material that is capable of large uniaxial stretching and surface area changes while actively emitting light. Layers of transparent hydrogel electrod...
Article
The first self-sufficient system, powered by a wearable energy generator based on microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology is introduced. MFCs made from compliant material were developed in the frame of a pair of socks, which was fed by urine via a manual gaiting pump. The simple and single loop cardiovascular fish circulatory system was used as the in...
Article
Harvesting mechanical energy based on the triboelectric and electrostatic concepts is a very new and extremely fast growing technology. The effect of time in which a typical energy generation cycle occurs is deeply studied here. Three set of contact key with nano-structured triboelectric surfaces, each including a magnetic and fingertip driving mec...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We develop PDMS and PMMA triboelectric surfaces with micro/nanopatterning via simple and effective methods, and starting from Si substrates anisotropically etched with low KOH concentration solution. A hierarchical structure formed by micro-pyramidal structures with superficial nano-roughness, is developed in a 200 µm PDMS layer. In parallel, by me...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This work presents the design and development of a soft, flexible artificial skin for the detection of two force ranges, and local/distributed loads discrimination, without computational efforts. Inspiring from human skin and using morphological computation principles for the development, both architecture and mechanical properties of the employed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this work, we develop soft tactile sensing systems embedded in an artificial robotic root. We show how by selecting flexible/deformable and functional materials, with mechanical properties allowing adaptive interactions with the environment, can lead to devices that are highly sensitive and robust. Moreover, we use the sensing technology for bui...
Article
A new concept for recovering a part of wasted energy caused by friction in typical mechanical components is introduced. Triboelectric charge generation on movable surfaces is the principle used for conducting electrons through external loads. The concept is evaluated by development and study of three versatile elements, including a bearing, gears a...
Article
In mechanobiology the study of cell response to mechanical stimuli is fundamental, and the involved processes (i.e., mechanotransduction) need to be investigated by interfacing (mechanically and electrically) with the cells in dynamic and non-invasive natural-like conditions. In this work, we present a novel soft, stretchable and conductive biointe...
Article
Full-text available
An emerging challenge in soft robotics research is to reveal mechanical solicitations in a soft body. Nature provides amazing clues to develop unconventional components that are capable of compliant interactions with the environment and living beings, avoiding mechanical and algorithmic complexity of robotic design. We inspire from plant-root mecha...
Article
Full-text available
An emerging challenge in soft robotics research is to reveal mechanical solicitations in a soft body. Nature provides amazing clues to develop unconventional components that are capable of compliant interactions with the environment and living beings, avoiding mechanical and algorithmic complexity of robotic design. We inspire from plant-root mecha...
Chapter
Full-text available
The neuro-robotics paradigm is a design approach, mainly aimed at the fusion of neuroscience and robotic competences and methods to design better robots that can act and interact closely with humans, in several application fields: rehabilitation and personal assistance, prosthetics, urban services, surgery, diagnostics, and environment monitoring.
Article
Full-text available
The current study addresses the development of a flexible microbial fuel cell (MFC) in a tubular configuration. Nafion tubing is employed as a one-compartment MFC and is used as the membrane and the main body of the system. We use an ultra-flexible carbon sleeve as electrode material for both the anode and cathode; the anode is placed inside the tu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A new generation of self-sustainable and wearable Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) is introduced. Two different types of energy - chemical energy found in urine and mechanical energy harvested by manual pumping - were converted to electrical energy. The wearable system is fabricated using flexible MFCs with urine used as the feedstock for the bacteria,...
Article
Full-text available
A cost-effective 3D sponge composed of rubber and conductive wires is introduced, which generates electric energy by periodic compression. It can be fabricated in a symmetric configuration, hence there is not a preferred surface or a specific direction for compression to obtain the energy harvesting or pressure sensing. The energy conversion occurs...
Data
bubbles remain trapped inside the sponge by means of solving sacrifi cing particles. The triboelectric phenomenon is promoted by periodic contact between miniature pieces of copper microw-ires encapsulated in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) sponge. The strong advantages of this work are its simplicity and the cost effectiveness of the process, which...
Data
In article number 1400024, Majid Taghavi, Virgilio Mattoli, Lucia Beccai, and co-workers introduce a cost-effective 3D sponge composed of rubber and conductive wires, which can produce electric energy by periodic compression. Because it can be fabricated in a symmetric configuration, there is no specific surface and direction for the energy harvest...
Article
In this work, we propose an approach that can convert gas flow energy to electric energy by using the triboelectric effect, in a structure integrating at least two conductive parts (i.e. electrodes) and one non-conductive sheet. The gas flow induces vibration of the cited parts. Therefore, the frequent attaching and releasing between a non-conducti...