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You are here: Home / Seminars / Experimental physics and modelling / The odd mechanics of robotic metamaterials

The odd mechanics of robotic metamaterials

Jonas Veenstra (Univ. of Amsterdam)
When Jun 25, 2024
from 11:00 to 12:00
Where Salle des thèses
Contact Name
Attendees Jonas Veenstra
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Breaking the symmetry of interactions is commonplace in areas of complex systems as diverse as prey-predator models, networks of neurons, and human behavior, yet has only recently been realized in synthetic many body systems such as optical devices, colloids, and metamaterials. These non-reciprocal interactions give rise to antisymmetric (odd) elastic moduli in continuum solids which leads these materials to undergo work-generating cycles. While recent efforts have mostly focused on the stable regime where cycles eventually return to equilibrium, interesting physics arises when waves amplify. In my talk, I will focus on the interplay between non-reciprocal waves and non-linear phenomena such as solitons and patterns. By combining experimental, numerical, and theoretical investigations, we show that non-reciprocity leads to novel types of solitons and patterns that are driven unidirectionally in a very robust fashion [1]. I will show that our metamaterials display limit cycles as a result of interaction with their environment which allows them to achieve adaptable locomotion [2]. Finally, I will suggest how topological defects in these active solids play a crucial role in generating locomotion patterns. Our work establishes active solids as a bridge between materials and robots and paves the way toward synthetic animate matter.


[1] Veenstra et al., Non-reciprocal topological solitons in active metamaterials. Nature, (2024)

[2] Brandenbourger et al., Limit cycles turn active matter into robots,  arXiv 2108.08837, (2022)