The breakthrough targeted in the project is the development of complete robotic systems that are able to feel pain (sense microscopic and macroscopic damage), react intelligently to relieve the pain (evaluate performance and prevent catastrophic failure), take the necessary measures to heal the damage and to restore all functions (induce or facilitate a controlled autonomous or non-autonomous healing of damaged elements), perform a rehabilitation (evaluate the quality of the healing process and take measures accordingly), and, finally, return to action.To accomplish the global strategic goal of creating fully-autonomous SH devices with integrated actuation, smart sensing and active control, the following three research objectives will be pursued during the 3 years of the SHERO project:
- Development, characterization and tuning of stimuli-responsive materials with smart, adaptive properties for self healing robotic and sensory applications. Development and optimization of manufacturing processes for complex geometries and intelligent design.
- Development of self-healing actuator systems, deformation and damage sensing capabilities and dedicated smart control and response system through artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques.
- Development of a mechatronic design, construction of a prototype, control and experimental validation of a fully autonomous self-healing demonstrator with dedicated intelligence, focusing on implementation in robotic applications.