Resilient Actuator Inspired From Plant Pulvinus

Universities and Institutes of France
August 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Temporary
Working Time:Full time
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  • Organisation/Company: Aix-Marseille université, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement (ISM)
  • Research Field: Computer science › Cybernetics Engineering Physics
  • Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1) Recognised Researcher (R2) Established Researcher (R3) Leading Researcher (R4)
  • Application Deadline: 31/08/2023 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • Location: France › AIX-en-Provence
  • Type Of Contract: Temporary
  • Job Status: Full-time
  • Mimosa Pudica moves its foliage when touched in less than a second by changing turgor pressure in pulvinus cells. Pulvinus tissue consists of flexible thin-walled parenchyma cells organised around a core of vascular pipes (xylem/phloem for water/sap transport), see fig 1. The selective change of cell turgor pressure allows, for instance, the contraction of the upper pulvinus (flacid cells) and expansion (turgid cells) of the lower one, achieving leaf motion by bending. The PhD Thesis goal is to investigate actuator technology inspired from pulvinus: how does complex motions emerge from a simple design but a complex pattern of cell pressure? Thin or bulky cell-piloted actuators are expected to generate a large variety of motions depending on the applied pressure pattern. The PhD candidate will leverage on a prototype of pulvinus tissue in 2D developed in the lab using micro- pneumatics and silicone casting. The Thesis has 3 goals: 1) Automatize cell pressure control using solenoid valves. Skills: Python / Node-Red 2) Create new prototypes (changing cell dimensions and material properties) Skills: 3D printing, silicone casting 3) Design of an experimental bench to measure actuator motion. Skills: image treatment / AI, Python, Matlab 4) Test the damage resilience of the pulvinus-inspired actuator.

    PhD thesis offer is supported by ANR (French National Agency for research).

    Funding category: Autre financement public


    PHD title: Doctorat en bio-mécanique

    PHD Country: France

    Offer Requirements Specific Requirements

    Background in physics, mechanics or engineering.

    Experience in plant biomechanics is a plus but not mandatory.

    Experimental and coding skills are highly recommended but motivation will be the major choice criterion.

    Contact Information
  • Organisation/Company: Aix-Marseille université, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement (ISM)
  • Organisation Type: Public Research Institution
  • Website: https://
  • Country: France
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