Morphable Structures

Granular materials can be put into a jammed state through the application of pressure to achieve a pseudo-solid material with controllable rigidity and geometry. While jamming principles have been long known, large-scale applications of jammed structures have not been significantly explored. The possibilities for shape-changing machines and structures are vast and jamming provides a plausible mechanism to achieve this effect. In this work, jamming prototypes are constructed to gain a better understanding of this effect. As well, potential specific applications are highlighted and demoed. Such applications range from a morphable chair, to a floor which dynamically changes its softness in response to a user falling down to reduce injury, to artistic free-form sculpting.

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