2024

May


Presto quoted on inequality of air pollution exposure
The Guardian

MechE’s Albert Presto was quoted by the Guardian on how people of color are historically more likely to be exposed to harmful air pollution. “People of color are more likely to be living near an industrial area or highway, and therefore have higher exposure.


Whitefoot quoted on the MPG Illusion in the US
Vox

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in Vox on the EU’s more transparent gas measurements in comparison to the US. The EU’s liters per 100 kilometer driven method being “directly related to energy use and directly related to emissions” providing researchers with more precise data on fuel economy.


Michalek quoted on the pros and cons of electric cars
Living Planet Podcast

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted on the Living Planet podcast on how the electricity source that electric cars use can greatly alter their environmental benefits. Michalek compares electric cars using renewable energy sources and electric cars using energy sources from coal-fired power plants.


Michalek quoted on Tesla Supercharger adapters
The Atlantic

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted on the potential benefits of adapters for Tesla Superchargers. The company’s Superchargers, which charge electric vehicles (EVs) much more quickly than other chargers, are being expanded to be compatible with non-Tesla EVs through the use of adapters. Michalek tells The Atlantic that, if implemented successfully, these adapters could help drivers feel more assured that their EVs could make long road trips, potentially helping to boost EV sales.


April


Whitefoot quoted on labor involved in electric vehicle production
NBC News

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in NBC News on the amount of labor involved in electric vehicle production. Amid arguments that a nationwide transition to electric vehicles would result in mass job losses, Whitefoot’s recent study found that electric vehicle production would actually lead to an increase in working hours required to manufacture automobiles. The idea that electric vehicles require less labor “has to do with this really simplistic view that if you have fewer parts, you have less labor,” said Whitefoot. “And that is just not the case.”


Tucker speaks on Africa’s adoption of AI regulations with Communications of the ACM
Communications of the ACM

CMU-Africa Director Conrad Tucker speaks on Africa’s adoption of AI regulations with Communications of the ACM. With the increasing usage of programs such as ChatGPT, governments all over the world are figuring out how to regulate AI so that users can interact with them safely. Tucker describes the current state of AI there as “quite fragmented,” varying in “different perspectives and policies across African countries.”


Sullivan shares thoughts on fragrance products in Yahoo
Yahoo

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan shares his thoughts on fragrance products in Yahoo. Currently, the industry lacks regulations for companies to disclose the ingredients in their products, potentially exposing consumers to harmful chemicals when lighting a candle or spritzing a room with room spray. “Products can contain dozens of chemicals, and all it shows up as is one word on the ingredient list: fragrance,” he says. This story was also covered in The Guardian.


March


Michalek quoted in article on the affordability of electric vehicles
BBC

MechE/EPP’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in the BBC on the past and future of electric vehicles, saying: “Before Tesla, most people’s experiences with an EV would be a golf cart or something….There was a sense of it being a small, slow vehicle where you have to compromise a lot.” Despite this early perception, electric vehicles quickly became a status symbol due to their high prices, though this is changing as well due to cheaper options becoming available.


CMU Engineering partnered with Penguins, Covestro in annual “Rethink the Rink” event
Pittsburgh Business Times

Over spring break, 16 CMU students met in groups to collaborate on projects to “rethink the rink” and improve the safety of hockey. This was the seventh annual instance of this event, which has arisen out of a partnership between CMU, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Covestro.


Michalek quoted on the environmental impact of electric vehicles
Daily Mail

MechE/EPP’s Jeremy Michalek was quoted in a recent article from the Daily Mail. The article discussed possible adverse effects of electric vehicles on the environment, such as tire treads wearing out more quickly due to the weight of the vehicle battery. Michalek said that the “critical factor” in the vehicles’ environmental impact was the use of coal: “If you’ve got electric cars in Pittsburgh that are being plugged in at night and leading nearby coal plants to burn more coal to charge them, then the climate benefits won’t be as great, and you can even get more air pollution.”


Zhao quoted on the applications of humanoid robots
Popular Science

MechE’s Ding Zhao was quoted in an article in Popular Science at the end of February. The article discussed advances in technology for human-shaped robots, particularly those created by the robotics company Figure. Figure has announced a partnership with OpenAI it hopes will allow its robots to be able to understand and process human speech, which will make them more useful in workspaces such as warehouses. Speaking on these robots capabilities, Zhao called these robots’ possible implementations the “billion-dollar question” and said: “Generally speaking, we are still exploring the capabilities of humanoid robots, how effectively we can collect data and train them, and how to ensure their safety when they interact with the physical world.”


Majidi explains how robots can help with understanding ancient creatures
Ars Technica

MechE’s Carmel Majidi explains how robots, built to mimic the traits revealed by ancient fossils, can help with understanding extinct creatures. Together with PhD student Richard Desatnik, Majidi led the construction of a robot likeness of pleurocystitid, an ancient relative of starfish, to understand how it might have moved on the sea bed. Majidi tells Ars Technica that this technology will help scientists gain a much fuller picture of evolutionary history than what they could glean from living organisms alone. “We can begin to learn from the 99 percent of species that once roamed the earth instead of just the 1 percent,” he says.


Three new professorships in Mechanical Engineering

Three new professorships were announced in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Burak Kara has been named a George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Carmel Majidi has been named the Clarence H. Adamson Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Jon Malen has been named the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering.


Zhang featured in Celebrating Women at SIAM
SIAM

MechE’s Jessica Zhang was featured by SIAM in celebrating Women’s History Month, for her contributions to the applied mathematics and computational science field.


Michalek fact-checks claims about a supposed ban on gas-powered cars
FactCheck.org

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek responded to two recent advertisements. These advertisements claim that proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation seek to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles. He agreed that these claims are exaggerated, and clarified: “[T]he new standards are not a ban on gasoline vehicles, and I don’t think anyone expects automakers to stop making gasoline vehicles in response to these standards.” Instead, these regulations would increase the number of electric vehicles, and he noted that automakers would still be able to produce some gas-powered vehicles.


February


Whitefoot quoted on electric vehicle tax credits
Fox Business

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot was quoted in Fox Business on the updated federal policy surrounding tax credits awarded for purchases of new or used electric vehicles. According to the IRS, electric vehicles assembled outside of North America will no longer qualify for the tax credit, an effort to reduce reliance on international manufacturers. Thus far, only 13 electric vehicles qualify for credit. “I do expect that this [list] will increase over time,” Whitefoot said. “That’s because it’s going to take time for automakers to set up the domestic battery and mineral supply chains necessary to meet the tax credit requirements—which are still relatively new.”


LeDuc and Majidi’s new soft robot highlighted in PopSci
PopSci

MechE’s Philip LeDuc and Carmel Majidi have developed a new soft robot inspired by a prehistoric sea creature, which was featured in Popular Science. Pleurocystitids, a precursor to the present-day invertebrates, had tail-like structures that allowed them to move underwater easily.


LeDuc, Ozdoganlar, and Yang featured in Interesting Engineering
Interesting Engineering

MechE’s Philip LeDuc, Burak Ozdoganlar, and Feimo Yang have developed a new tissue engineering technique that may alleviate the organ transplantation crisis. The work was featured in Interesting Engineering. “What makes our method different from other kinds of 3D printing is that instead of letting the water completely freeze while we’re printing, we let it maintain a liquid phase on top,” said Yang, who hopes that the versatility of the 3D-printed blood vessels will have further applications beyond the immediate organ transplant issue.


Jayan quoted on temperature and battery-powered vehicles charging
Wards Auto

MechE’s Reeja Jayan shares her thoughts on how temperature affects battery-powered vehicles’ ability to change in Wards Auto. The cold can make batteries charge less effectively. “If you have limited charging stations, as we have in the U.S., you can imagine how this becomes bad quickly,” she says. Experts hope that with the growing EV industry, this solution will be solved and more charging stations will begin to appear.


Whitefoot talks electric vehicle tax credits
CNET

EPP/MechE’s Kate Whitefoot spoke to CNET about adding to the list of electric vehicles that qualify for a federal tax credit worth thousands of dollars. “I do expect this [list] will increase over time,” Whitefoot said, noting that improvements in battery and mineral supply chains could help.


January


Sullivan weighs in on water microdroplet chemistry
Chemistry World

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan spoke with Chemistry World about the contentious topic of water microdroplet chemistry, which has inspired mixed feelings among researchers in the field. Sullivan, for his part, is more skeptical. “Many physical atmosphere chemists who I regard as very careful experimentalists…do not think that this idea that oxidants are spontaneously being produced in microdroplets is real—they are quite convinced it’s contamination or some sort of artifact,” said Sullivan.


2023


December


Michalek discusses his research on EV adoption in rural communities
The Verge

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek discusses his research on EV adoption in rural communities in The Verge. “If electric vehicles are offered as ubiquitously as gasoline vehicles, and if their technology goes where we think it’s going to go, then we would expect roughly half of people to prefer an electric over a gasoline for both cars and SUVs,” he says. Michalek’s extensive work in EVs and their integration into our current society is also mentioned in MSN, The Wall Street Journal, and CNET.


Halilaj speaks on the benefits of using AI for biomechanical analyses
Medscape

MechE’s Eni Hallilaj speaks on the benefits of using AI for biomechanical analyses in Medscape. Especially for “highly heterogeneous conditions that we have not been able to fully characterize through traditional studies with limited patients,” the app allows for the possibility of having hundreds or even thousands involved in studies. “The opportunities here are endless,” Hallilaj says.


CMU-Africa researchers published in Science Robotics
Science Robotics

CMU-Africa's Conrad Tucker, David VernonAdedayo Akinade (MS ECE '24), Yohannes Haile (MS ECE '23), Natasha Mutangana (MS EAI '24) were published in Science Robotics, as a Focus article, for their work with culturally sensitive robotics. The article was featured in the magazine's special issue on robotics and AI in the Global South. In the piece, the researchers discuss how embedding culturally sensitive body, hand, and facial gestures in social robots will make them more acceptable in Africa.


Webster-Wood talks with Nature about biohybrid robots
Nature

MechE’s Victoria Webster-Wood talks with Nature about biohybrid robots. “A biohybrid is really any robot that combines both biological materials and synthetic materials,” she says. These machines have many potential applications including search and rescue following earthquakes.


November


Taylor featured in PittsburghInno
PittsburghInno

MechE’s Rebecca Taylor was featured in PittsburghInno for being named the first Ansys Career Development Chair in the College of Engineering. The Ansys endowment she received will go toward educating mechanical engineering students using Ansys software. “Using Ansys software in my lab and classroom will help prepare my students to use self-assembly as a powerful tool for advanced manufacturing,” Taylor says. The announcement was also covered in the Pittsburgh Business Times.


Zhang presents at ASME IMECE
ASME IMECE

MechE’s Jessica Zhang presented at the ASME IMECE: CONCAM Distinguished Lectures on Computational Mechanics, which was held in New Orleans, LA on October 29 - November 2. She talked about her research on modeling traffic jam and growth process of neurons using isogeomtric analysis and physics-informed neural network.


October


Michalek comments on Trump’s claims about the electric car industry
PolitiFact

MechE/EPP/CEE’s Jeremy Michalek comments on Trump’s claims about the electric car industry in PolitiFact. Trump says that the car industry will be leaving the United States, but Michalek believes this assertion is “substanceless.” He goes on to say that “there are likely to be complex effects of this shift, but all automobiles are already produced with a mix of systems and components produced across a global supply chain, so this really isn’t new.”


Majidi talks about shape-shifting robots
BuiltIn

MechE’s Carmel Majidi talks to BuiltIn about shape-shifting robots. “This technology introduces new capabilities to achieve robotic functions at the small scale in hard-to-reach places,” he says. “Because of its shape-shifting properties and response to external stimuli, it can be operated remotely and controlled to move within otherwise hard to reach parts, such as those within the body.”


Haidar quoted in Popular Science
Popular Science

MechE’s Diana Haidar was quoted in Popular Science talking about 3D printing, which has been an increasingly popular method of manufacturing since the 1980s. “Mass manufacturing methods, almost all of them are quite fixed. You can only remake the exact same parts over and over again. But people also want custom parts. That’s where 3D printing has a niche,” she says.


2023 Engineering Andy Award winners
The Piper

The annual Andy Awards ceremony was held on October 18, 2023 where two Engineering staff members and one committee were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the university:

  • Leia Delabahan: Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Justin Dawber: Innovative & Creative Solutions
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee: Gabi Cryster, Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, and Yanika Reid: Teamwork and Collaboration - Standing Team

A huge congratulations to them and the other winners!


Tucker’s research mentioned at Senate hearing

MechE/CMU-Africa’s Conrad Tucker, along with other collaborators from the RAND Corporation and the Challenger Center, were cited for their work during the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing titled “AI and the Future of our Elections.” They were recognized for their research in nefarious uses of AI and provided a baseline for future studies and solutions.


Jayan comments on battery technology in the crashed Venice bus
AP News

MechE’s Reeja Jayan comments on battery technology in the crashed Venice bus in AP News. While the Italian’s transport minister is questioning the spread of electric vehicles in the midst of this catastrophe, experts say that the battery chemistry used actually makes it less prone to fires. “In batteries that use nickel or cobalt, oxygen can be released if the temperature gets too hot, fueling a fire. But in a lithium-iron-phosphate battery, there is a strong bond between oxygen and phosphorus, keeping the oxygen in place,” she says.


Michalek discusses America’s shift to electric vehicles
The Atlantic

MechE/EPP’s Jeremy Michalek talks to The Atlantic about America’s shift to electric vehicles. Because electric cars are easier to assemble than their gasoline counterparts, autoworkers are worried about their jobs and wages. “Jobs at gasoline engine manufacturing plants will shift to jobs at electric motor and battery plants,” Michalek says.


2023 Engineering Faculty Awards announced
CMU College of Engineering

The 2023 Engineering Faculty Awards highlight faculty members who have shown outstanding educational, research, and service efforts. Congratulations to the awaredees.

  • Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award: Jimmy Zhu and Greg Kesden (ECE)
  • David P. Casasent Outstanding Research Award: Gianluca Piazza (ECE)
  • George Tallman Ladd Research Award: Eni Halilaj (MechE), Destenie Nock (CEE/EPP)
  • Outstanding Mentoring Award: Burcu Akinci (CEE)
  • Outstanding Service Award: Tim Brown (CMU-Africa/EPP)
  • Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research: Marios Savvides (ECE)
  • Philip and Marsha Dowd Fellowship: Yuejie Chi (ECE), Amir Barati Farimani and Burak Kara (MechE)

Whitefoot comments on green cars in MSN
MSN

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot comments on the future of green vehicles in MSN. “Moving heavy vehicles like school buses, construction equipment, and big trucks to electrification will definitely be slower. That’s where improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines will be important,” she says.


17 College of Engineering nominees for annual Andy Awards
Carnegie Mellon University

17 College of Engineering staff members were nominated for the annual Andy Awards, which recognize excellence in areas including Commitment to Excellence; Commitment to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion; Commitment to Students; Innovative and Creative Contributions; Spirit; and Teamwork and Collaboration. Congratulations to the following staff members:

Commitment to Excellence

  • Neil Emmett (rookie) - Mechanical Engineering
  • Elizabeth Clark (veteran) - Materials Science and Engineering
  • Nancy Doyle (veteran) - Information Networking Institute
  • Matthew Moneck (veteran) - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to DEI 

  • Leia Delabahan - Integrated Innovation Institute
  • Brittany Bristoll - Electrical and Computer Engineering

Commitment to Students

  • Heather Costello - Chemical Engineering
  • Deborah Kuntz - Engineering and Public Policy

Innovative and Creative Contributions 

  • Justin Dawber - Chemical Engineering
  • Chris Hertz - Mechanical Engineering

Spirit

  • Cindy Arnett - Information Networking Institute
  • Lisa Cowling - Mechanical Engineering

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Support Team - Heather Costello and Kristyn Williams
  • Mechanical Engineering DEI Committee Staff Team - Annie Harder, Eva Mergner, Yanika Reid, Gabriele Crytser

September


Whitefoot comments on gas-powered green vehicles
Newsweek

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot comments on gas-powered green vehicles in Newsweek. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories collaborated to create a spark plug replacement prototype that will allow fuel to burn more cleanly and efficiently. “Moving heavy vehicles like school buses, construction equipment, and big trucks to electrification will definitely be slower. That’s where improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines will be important,” Whitefoot says.


Majidi explains importance of soft robotics
Communications of the ACM

MechE’s Carmel Majidi explains the impact soft robotics, such as exoskeletons, artificial skins, and flexible electronics, will have on society. “By mimicking the mechanical compliance and multi-functionality of soft-bodied natural organisms, soft robots can be useful for a wide array of tasks and purposes,” Majidi said.


Zhang delivers IMACS keynote
IMACS World Congress

MechE’s Jessica Zhang delivered a virtual keynote at the 21st International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (IMACS) World Congress conference, which was held in Rome, Italy on September 11-15, 2023. She talked about using isogeometric analysis and physics-informed graph neural networks to model neuron traffic jam and growth.


Majidi wins 2023 Inno Fire Award from Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times

MechE’s Carmel Majidi has been awarded the 2023 Inno Fire Award for Trailblazing Innovators from the Pittsburgh Business Times. Majidi was acknowledged for his leadership in the Soft Machines Lab at Carnegie Mellon University and his product “Thubber,” which can be used in the thermal management of semiconductors.


August


Zhang speaks at biometrics workshop
Biomechanics Workshop of Program Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastic Modeling of Materials on Mathematical Mechanical Biology

MechE’s Jessica Zhang was invited to speak at Biomechanics Workshop of Program Uncertainty Quantification and Stochastic Modeling of Materials on Mathematical Mechanical Biology: Old School and New School, Methods and Applications, which was held in Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK on July 31 - August 4. She talked about her latest research on modeling traffic jam and growth process of neurons using isogeometric analysis and physics-informed neural network.


Michalek provides insight on nuances of fast-charging EV batteries
The Sacramento Bee

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek explains how feasible fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) are. “Some battery chemistries are very robust to fast charging while others degrade very quickly,” Michalek said. “So it does depend what kind of battery the electric vehicle has in it, how sensitive it will be to fast charging.”


Whitefoot talks increasing electric vehicle popularity
Nautilus

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot spoke to Nautilus about what’s behind the latest uptick in consumer interest in electric vehicles. Breaking down several factors, including environmental impact and the influence of Tesla, Whitefoot said, “It’s really about the performance characteristics of electric vehicles–how much they’ve improved in the recent past and how much they’re expected to improve in the future.” Whitefoot also shared her thoughts on a timeline for electric vehicles to become the standard mode of transportation. “We would expect to see around 50 percent of new vehicles be all electric by 2030, assuming some trends hold.”


Whitefoot talks cost of EVs, policy incentives
GO Banking Rates

MechE/EPP’s Kate Whitefoot said there are many policy incentives available to lower the cost of purchasing electric vehicles (EVs). “Not everyone is aware that many of these are available for used EVs as well, which may be attractive to Gen Z and millennials. The federal government offers a tax credit and many states offer additional rebates for purchasing used EVs as well as new EVs,” she said.


Weber emphasizes importance of sensory feedback for prosthetic limbs
Wired

MechE’s Doug Weber discusses the future of bionic limbs and their ability to receive sensory feedback in a story with Wired. “It’s not only important to be able to make things move but to feel the consequences of those actions as well,” Weber said.


Michalek speaks on EV charger availability
Kiplinger

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek commented on plans to increase the availability of electric vehicle (EV) chargers next year. “It’s going to be a challenge to deploy enough public charging infrastructure to avoid long queues on peak travel days, and if we do build enough for peak travel days a lot of it will sit unused much of the rest of the year,” Michalek said.


July


Jayan elected to IMPI Board
International Microwave Power Institute

MechE’s Reeja Jayan has been elected to the Board of International Microwave Power Institute, the leading scientific organization dedicated to the international microwave energy community. Jayan will chair their 58th Annual Microwave Power Symposium in the spring.


Presto collaborates on Ohio train derailment research
NBC News

MechE’s Albert Presto collaborated on new research regarding chemicals released during the Ohio train derailment, finding high levels of acrolein, a chemical known to cause lung damnage and abnormal lesions after long-term exposure. Presto calls this find “a little bit surprising” and noted the difficulty to link any one chemical to specifical health concerns.


McComb weighs in on AI capabilities
ABC News

MechE’s Chris McComb was interviewed about AI and its capabilities in a story by ABC News. “The seeds have been there for a while,” he says.


YKK AP’s new research lab works to advance job site safety, productivity, and quality
USGlass News Network

The opening celebration of YKK AP’s research lab at Mill 19 included demonstrations by MechE’s Kenji Shimada’s research team, which is developing technology to solve key issues in the architectural products industry.


Presto discusses health concerns of Canadian wildfires with KDKA CBS News Pittsburgh
CBS News KDKA Pittsburgh

MechE’s Albert Presto discusses the health concerns associated with the Canadian wildfires with KDKA CBS News Pittsburgh. The fires have only exacerbated the effects of the normal city air quality, including eye and lung irritation. “All the activities that contribute to that baseline that we already have are still happening. We’re still burning fossil fuels. We’re getting this wildfire smoke on top of our normal load,” he says.


Presto discusses mask efficacy for wildfire smoke and smog
MSN

MechE’s Albert Presto explains that cloth or disposable face masks may help to block some particulate matter, but it’s most likely not enough as protection for your lungs. Presto encourages people to think of masks as a “ranked order,” noting options like neck gaiters are not effective in providing protection from smoke.


June


Zhang elected IAMBE fellow
IAMBE

MechE’s Jessica Zhang has been elected to the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineers (IAMBE), class of 2023. IAMBE is made up of fellows who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the profession of medical and biological engineering. IAMBE is affiliated with the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE), responsible to the IFMBE General Assembly and its Administrative Council. IAMBE operates under the auspices of the IFMBE Constitution and Bylaws.


Tucker discusses AI
Middle East Broadcasting Network

MechE’s Conrad Tucker spoke about AI on the Middle East Broadcasting Network.


Michalek quoted in MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review

EPP/MechE’s Jeremy Michalek spoke with MIT Technology Review on batteries for electric vehicles. Startups such as Ample have demonstrated a new battery-swapping system for EVs where users can exchange a depleted battery for a fresh one without spending time charging up. However, Michalek says battery swapping isn’t likely to be the primary technique for powering EVs.


May


Barati Farimani to work on self-charging power sources
Tech Explorist

MechE’s Amir Barati Farimani was mentioned in Tech Explorist as a contributor for new research on self-charging power sources for space applications. The research, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, will focus on developing self-charging power sources for low-Earth orbit missions, such as satellites, using hydrogel or soft polymer-based materials. Barati Farimani will focus on simulation and material synthesis.


Presto quoted on Allegheny County air pollution
Pittsburgh City Paper

MechE’s Albert Presto was quoted in the Pittsburgh City Paper on the impact of industrial pollution in Allegheny County in the context of regional topography. Presto said his research doesn’t always yield expected results, but the bigger picture is still clear. “Air pollution is a huge environmental injustice, right, systematically at like the national level and a local level,” Presto said.


Majidi talks soft robotics research and findings
NextPittsburgh

MechE’s Carmel Majidi spoke with NextPittsburgh about CMU’s Soft Machines Lab and its research in soft robotics, including the invention of a thermally conductive rubber material called Thubber and a small robot that can change between a solid and a liquid. Majidi said that the lab takes inspirations from physical characteristics observed in animals. “That’s a lot of what soft robotics is about—not to compete with or replace more advanced systems that already exist, but to broaden the scope of what we think of as robotics and what we think of as materials and building blocks of robotic systems,” Majidi said.