Electrically and Sunlight-Driven Actuator with Versatile Biomimetic Motions Based on Rolled Carbon Nanotube Bilayer Composite

Y. Hu, J. Liu, L. Chang, L. Yang, A. Xu, K. Qi, P. Lu, G. Wu, Wei Chen, Y. Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Designing multistimuli responsive soft actuators which can mimic advanced and sophisticated biological movements through simple configuration is highly demanded for the biomimetic robotics application. Here, inspired by the human's flick finger behavior which can release large force output, a soft jumping robot mimicking the gymnast's somersault is designed based on the rolled carbon nanotube/polymer bilayer composite actuator. This new type of rolled bilayer actuator with tubular shape is fabricated and shows electrically and sunlight-induced actuation with remarkable performances including ultralarge deformation from tubular to flat (angel change >200° or curvature >2 cm?1), fast response (<5 s), and low actuation voltage (?10 V). Besides jumping, the uniquely reversible rolling-unrolling actuation can lead to other smart soft robots with versatile complex biomimetic motions, including light-induced tumbler with cyclic wobbling, electrically/light-induced crawling-type walking robots and grippers, electrically induced mouth movement, and ambient-sunlight-induced blooming of a biomimetic flower. These results open the way for using one simple type of actuator structure for the construction of various soft robots and devices toward practical biomimetic applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1704388
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • biomimetic motions
  • carbon nanotube
  • jumping robot
  • sunlight induced actuation
  • tubular shape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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