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Kirigami-Based Light-Induced Shape-Morphing and Locomotion

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1906233
JournalAdvanced Materials
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The development of stimuli-responsive soft actuators, a task largely undertaken by material scientists, has become a major driving force in pushing the frontiers of microrobotics. Devices made of soft active materials are oftentimes small in size, remotely and wirelessly powered/controlled, and capable of adapting themselves to unexpected hurdles. However, nowadays most soft microscale robots are rather simple in terms of design and architecture, and it remains a challenge to create complex 3D soft robots with stimuli-responsive properties. Here, it is suggested that kirigami-based techniques can be useful for fabricating complex 3D robotic structures that can be activated with light. External stress fields introduce out-of-plane deformation of kirigami film actuators made of liquid crystal networks. Such 2D-to-3D structural transformations can give rise to mechanical actuation upon light illumination, thus allowing the realization of kirigami-based light-fuelled robotics. A kirigami rolling robot is demonstrated, where a light beam controls the multigait motion and steers the moving direction in 2D. The device is able to navigate along different routes and moves up a ramp with a slope of 6°. The results demonstrate a facile technique to realize complex and flexible 3D structures with light-activated robotic functions.


  • actuation, kirigami, light steering, liquid crystal network, soft robots

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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