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Controllably Biodegradable Conductors for Robotic Tactile Skins

Description du projet

Des conducteurs électriques biodégradables pour la robotique

Les matériaux actuels destinés à l’électronique ne sont pas durables en raison de leur rareté, de leur toxicité et de la difficulté à les recycler. Ils sont néanmoins indispensables à la robotique, qui devient un domaine crucial pour la prospérité de l’économie européenne. Le projet BioConTact, financé par l’UE, abordera ce problème en développant des conducteurs électriques flexibles, légers et évolutifs fabriqués à partir de matériaux courants. La biodégradabilité de ces conducteurs sera ajustable grâce à la formulation des matériaux. Cette technologie sera essentielle pour les applications dont la stabilité à long terme est cruciale, telles que la peau robotique, ou pour le contrôle environnemental de la dégradation, tel que l’électronique transitoire biorésorbable.

Objectif

BioConTact will engineer electrical conductors with a controllable biodegradability that are flexible, lightweight, scalable, and produced with readily available materials. The tunable degradation will be finely controlled through the material formulation. Thus, this unique technology will be indispensable for applications where long-term stability is crucial, such as robotic skin, or those requiring environmental control of degradation, such as bioresorbable transient electronics. These conductors will be assembled as human mimicking robotic skin for the iCub, the flagship open-source robot developed by the beneficiary, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia. The fellow will utilise his experience in the design of materials for sustainable electronics, exploit the supervisor’s and co-supervisor’s knowledge on biodegradation and robotic tactile sensors, and benefit from their excellent laboratories, Smart Materials and Humanoid Sensing and Perception, respectively.

This research is motivated by the ever-growing need for sustainable and biodegradable materials for electronics. Consumer electronics are indeed pervasive in European society, with more than 230 million users. Yet, materials for electronics are not sustainable because of their scarcity, toxicity, and recycling complexity, which are detrimental for manufacturers, governments, and society. Besides, electronic wastes are accumulating globally and will reach a production rate of 120 million metric tons per year by 2050. Simultaneously, robotics, which are vital for a thriving European economy, are becoming omnipresent. Hence, the transition to sustainable and biodegradable alternatives to current electronics will boost the progress of environmentally friendly technologies in robotics. This transformation is in line with the 2030 European Sustainable Development Goals and the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges program that promotes a greener and sustainable European society.

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Coordinateur

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 171 473,28
Adresse
Via morego 30
16163 Genova
Italie

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Région
Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Type d’activité
Research Organisations
Liens
Autres sources de financement
€ 0,00