Manufacturing

We're researching new "Soft-MEMS" processes in order to achieve micro-scale soft matter mechanisms that will bridge the gap between the processing techniques of today with the soft materials of tomorrow.

Materials

Our goal is to embed intelligence into material, which will reduce the complexity of responsive systems. By replacing software control with material requirements, we are developing closed-loop multifunctional materials.

Robotics

In contrast to traditional rigid robots, we're developing soft and stretchable sensors and actuators for soft robotics, wearable robotics, sensory skins, and conformable electronics.

Welcome to The Faboratory

The Purdue Faboratory researches new and innovative ways to make things. The natural world is filled with soft, robust, and conformable mechanisms capable of stably and safely interacting with their environment. However, the machines and electronics that we build today are most often constructed from rigid components. In the Purdue Faboratory, we build mechanisms that exploit the properties of soft materials, such as extreme deformability and responsiveness to external stimuli.

In addition to new soft mechanisms, we also develop new techniques and processes for synthesizing soft composite materials. While many micro-scale manufacturing techniques have been developed for MEMS (rigid, silicon-based) devices, these techniques are not compatible with soft elastomeric and liquid-phase materials. We therefore research new “Soft-MEMS” processes in order to achieve micro-scale soft matter mechanisms.

In The Purdue Faboratory, we apply these new processes and devices to the development of soft robotics, wearable robotics, and stretchable electronics.