MSI PIs Awarded Grant to Study Soft Robots


Assistant Professor Tim Kowalewski and Associate Professor James Van de Ven, MSI PIs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a $1.98M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study 3D-printable polyurethane polymers that can be used to create soft robots that can tunnel through a variety of materials, configurations, and designs. This research may help in gaining access to areas where access is not currently possible, which has surgical as well as civil-engineering applications. The project involves the creation of mathematical models and computational tools.

Professor Kowalewski is the PI on the grant and Professor Van de Ven is a co-PI. Other co-PIs are in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering; and the University of Michigan. The award abstract can be read on the NSF website.

Professor Kowalewski heads the Medical Robots and Devices Laboratory, the goal of which is to advance the emerging field of computational surgery, and uses MSI resources for this research. Professor Van de Ven uses MSI for studies of energy storage and conversion in fluid power systems.