As of 10/4/2016, the program is no longer accepting applicants for IGERT traineeships. However, Tufts University faculty and graduate students continue to do ground-breaking work in the field of Soft Material Robotics. If you are interested in doing graduate research at Tufts University in Soft Material Robotics or in any of its adjunct disciplines, please visit the website.
Soft Material Robotics is rooted in biomimetics. The concepts and solutions are inspired by animals that have already evolved desirable capabilities. However, rather than replicating natural designs, the engineered devices will use discoveries in biology to invent new materials, structures and controls. These findings can be incorporated into existing machines to make them more robust and adaptable. In the long-term, we envision that this approach will even extend to using living systems to assemble, actuate and power moving devices. Living cells contain the instructions and mechanisms to build their own nano-scale structures and then to self assemble into complete tissues and organisms. Using molecular, cell and tissue engineering, these capabilities can be controlled to produce an entirely new type of organic machine.
To produce such machines, we need interdisciplinary scientists and engineers who have depth and breadth of knowledge in a range of fields, including biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computer science, and are comfortable working in a highly collaborative manner on high-innovation, high-risk projects.
Learn more about the NSF | IGERT Program in Soft Material Robotics