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Welcome to the Laboratory for Soft Machines & Electronics (SME Lab) in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). We aim to exploit the fundamental mechanics and physics of advanced materials, and to design and fabricate novel machines and electronics using advanced technologies to address the grand challenges that we are facing today. We are now focusing on the mechanics, design, and manufacturing of soft materials, soft robotics, self-powered electronics, and 3D/4D printing of multifunctional materials for a variety of applications in healthcare, manufacturing, energy, food, agriculture, infrastructures and space exploration, such as tunable surfaces, medical robots, agriculture robots, personalized health monitoring system, implantable electronics, wave energy harvesters, as well as smart packaging system for supply chain. 

Research Hightlight
Soft Robots

Soft Flipping Robot

We developed a new Soft, Lightweight Flipping Robot that can perform versatile motions for wall-climbing applications. The work has been published in IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)

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3D/4D Printing

Stretchable Supercapacitors 

A new 4D printing process and inks for fabricating stretchable energy devices i.e., supercapacitors was developed. See the details on the work in Advanced Materials Technologies


Smart Agriculture System

We are working novel electronics for smart agricultures to address the big challenge in production, protection and food security faced by human. The review on soil sensors are published in Advanced Materials


Precision Processing

We investigated the electrorheological fluid-assisted polishing technique in processing conductive materials with ultra-high precision at small scales for novel electronic and optical devices. 

Soft Materials

Magneto-active elastomers

We have proposed a modified continuum theory and finite element framework for magneto-actuated large deformation and instability of magneto-active elastomers.

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Energy Storage

Stretchable Supercapacitors from Crumpled CNT-forests

Stretchable supercapacitors based on crumpled CNT-forests are fabricated, offering a new opportunity for next‐generation self-powered stretchable electronics.

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Printed Electronics

Fully Printed, Flexible, Stable & Hysteresis-free CNT-TFTs

This study reports hysteresis-free carbon nanotube thin-film transistor (CNT-TFTs) fabricated entirely using an aerosol jet printing technique! See Advanced Electronics Materials!  

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Multifunctional Metamaterials

We developed a new kind of multifunctional metamaterials that can harvest energy, control vibration and frequency sensing. The work has been published in Advanced  Functional Materials.

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Soft Manipulator System

We invented a new soft manipulator system that can achieve on-demand stiffness tuning and remote controlling with self-powered HMI. The paper is published in Advanced Materials Technologies.


Soft human-like hands

Need a robot with a soft touch? MSU Spartan engineers has designed and developed a novel humanoid hand that may be able to help. This new research is reported by MSU Today.

Energy Storage

Wearable CNT-forest SCs

We developed a new stretchable supercapacitor based on Au-CNT-forests, paving new avenues for designing novel power-independent portable and wearable electronics for broad applications, published in Matter.

Energy Storage

Stretchable SCs via MXene-rGO Composite

We developed a method to overcome the cracking problem of MXene based energy devices for stretchable or wearable applications. See our ACS Nano paper! 

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Soft Materials

Phase Transition of Active Bilayer Structures

We have theoretically and numerically investigated the phase transition and optimal actuation of bilayer structures under biaxial active strains. See paper published in Extreme Mechanics Letters!

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Wearable Electronics

Organic Responsive Materials 

Ferrocene-based Organic Small Molecule was used to develop new stimuli-responsive materials for wearable sensors and energy harvesters. The work  has been published in Small


Hybrid Energy Harvesting

Recent advances on the hybrid energy harvesting system by combining triboelectric nanogenerators and other energy harvesting methods are reviewed. The paper is published in Matter

Sensing System

Forest fire alarm system

A novel high-performance multilayered cylindrical triboelectric nanogenerator (MC-TENG) is designed to harvest the kinetic energy of tree branches for powering a fire sensing system in a forest. 


Soft Smart Gripper

We have developed a new type of smart robotic gripper, targeting at applications in packaging automation and agriculture harvesting. This research is published in Advanced Materials Technologies

Energy Harvesting

Novel Triboelectric Nanogenerators

We have developed a new type of wave energy harvester, hierarchically structured triboelectric nanogenerator (HS-TENG) to harvest the huge blue energy for large-scale deployments. This research is published in Nano Energy 

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Bacteria Self-Organize to Build Pressure Sensors

We have demonstrated one way of fabricating a 3-D dome-shaped structure based entirely on the principle of self-organization via bacteria. See paper published in Nature Biotechnology!

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