EFRI C3 SoRo: Strong Soft Robots—Multiscale Burrowing & Inverse Design

Project: Research project

Project Details


The objective of this research project is to establish and validate a mathematical framework for the inverse design of universal soft robots. This work will create two testbeds: (1) burrowing robots that penetrate the ground and locomote via a variety of underground materials, altering their behavior and morphology to optimize burrowing based on their environment using embodied intelligence, and (2) millimeter scale soft robot catheters that locomote through vascular networks to burrow into soft tissues. As an expert in geomechanics and soil-machine interaction, Dr. Hambleton will contribute to the first of these two aspects. This work will enable new soft robots to burrow underground for laying, inspecting, and maintaining underground civil infrastructure without expensive disruption of surface activities.
Effective start/end date9/15/189/14/22


  • University of Minnesota (A007037602 AMD 1 // EFMA-1830950)
  • National Science Foundation (A007037602 AMD 1 // EFMA-1830950)


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