News and Events


Seminar - Artificial muscles for MEMS, soft robotics, tunable optics & acoustics by Dr. Lau Gih-Keong
日期:2018 年 01 月 08 日 ( 星期一)
Time:2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Vision of my research is to develop actuator and sensor technologies that better the living and sustain the earth. Electric motors have since helped free up the labor time and allows human energy for creative jobs. However, there are still challenges that existing motor cannot meet, especially in the applications to micro-systems, health and rehabilitation, large area or distributed systems. In comparison, natural muscles are scalable (sizeable) from small insects to large mammals. The needs of muscles-like actuator have recently spurred re-invention of Mckibben-like soft actuator based on pneumatic and hydraulic systems, and invention of smart polymeric materials for artificial muscles, which were published in Science and Nature. Inspired by biological systems, my research group has been investigating the use of passive materials to make electro-active actuators to deliver multi-physical functions. We have investigated some novel actuation principles, which include include 1) thermal expansion of plastic in silicon microfins, 2) electrostatic squeezing of dielectric elastomer, 3) chemical swelling of lithiated tin, and 4) electro creeping of dielectric gel. We have developed polymeric artificial muscles for various applications, which include 1) precision micro-positioning systems, 2) bionic finger for nimble gripping, 3) tunable lens for variable focus, 4) and smart window for transparency switching and broad-band sound absorption. In addition, we added spring to electric motor to improve the flight efficiency of flapping wings rivalling against a propeller.


Dr. Lau Gih-Keong received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 2007, and the M.Eng. and B.Eng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2000 and 1998 respectively. Dr Lau’s research focuses on micro-electro-mechanical systems, micro-actuators, dielectric elastomer actuators, soft robots, compliant mechanisms, flapping-wing micro air vehicles, and multi-functional windows based on micro-wrinkling.

He is a recipient of a Meinhardt Book Prize in 1998. He won twice the best poster awards in the workshops of Micromechanics Europe in 2005 and 2006. He received Tan Chin Tuan Fellowship in 2015 and was a visiting professor to École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in June 2015. He is a recipient of 2017 MAE Service Award from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. He is an associate editor to the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017). He was a member of international advisory boards in the International Conference - Smart and Multifunctional Materials, Devices, Structures (CIMTEC) in 2012 and 2016.