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Soft and Tangible Organic Responsive Materials progressing roBOTic functionS

Project description

State-of-the-art training in soft robotics for young researchers

The field of robotics has been evolving at a very fast pace, finding application in many diverse sectors. Demand has also increased for the development of soft responsive materials and new fabrication processes, deemed necessary for the creation of robots that are more sensitive to the environment, autonomous and able to perform complex tasks in a variety of cutting-edge fields. One solution is liquid crystal elastomers, which have been found to exhibit programmable mechanical deformations in response to different stimuli. The EU-funded STORM-BOTS project will delve into this field of robotics by running a state-of-the-art training programme for 13 young researchers. Local and network-wide training activities will give students the opportunity to become involved in trailblazing research, acquiring the necessary skills for a future career in the field.


Soft responsive materials and new fabrication schemes are key ingredients to develop new disruptive technologies for robotic elements and devices. Such devices are anticipated to revolutionize the fields of minimally invasive surgery, targeted drug delivery, material sampling and manipulation, responsive functional surfaces and human-machine interfaces. The use of soft responsive, instead of hard inert, matter in these areas provides unique features such as the material being able to sense the environment and autonomously perform complex tasks – “the material is the machine”. In this scenario, liquid crystal elastomers are receiving an increasing deal of attention as they exhibit large, programmable mechanical deformations in response to different stimuli. Europe has played a leading role in liquid crystal science since its birth. To be at the forefront also tomorrow, we aim at harnessing the full potential of liquid-crystal-based responsive surfaces, soft actuators and smart machines. Encompassing aspects from chemistry, physics, materials science, advanced manufacturing and robotics, we will train 13 science-educated and engineering-minded young pioneers to advance the state of the art of this exciting research field. STORM-BOTS will count on academic and non-academic leaders from top research institutions and with unique scientific and technical expertise, in order to provide the next generation of scientists and engineers the best possible research environment for developing new materials and manufacturing tools to enable advanced robotic functions. Based on innovative individual research projects, STORM-BOTS will provide the students with a transnational, comprehensive, highly integrated, multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral training programme. Through local and network-wide training activities, the students will learn the many faces of this cutting-edge research area, as well as a variety of relevant transferable skills needed for their future careers.


Net EU contribution
€ 501 809,76
28006 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 501 809,76

Participants (8)