Biological tissues such as the camouflaging skin of an octopus, the wing of a bat, a bone, or the wood of a Banyan tree exhibits a level of functionality and autonomy that engineers can only dream of. While wood and bone have already become poster-childs of bio-inspired composite materials for their impressive structural properties, the material science community has not really appreciated that the structural properties of these systems are only a small subset of the functionality that living wood and living bone provide: self-repair, adapting their structure to changing loading conditions, or storing energy for the organisms they serve.
Functionally speaking, these tissues are composites that tightly integrate sensing, actuation, computation and communication. They are made of materials that can harvest, metabolize and store energy to power computers that interact with sensors and actuators that affect their physical properties or make them move. The ongoing miniaturization of computation as well as advances in material science and manufacturing has made engineering such materials conceivable and a concerted effort in their development very timely, but it is still unclear (1) how existing materials and devices can be integrated and (2) how we need to program individual computing elements that might be as small and as numerous as sand grains on a beach to achieve a desired collective behavior. Albeit the required effort is highly interdisciplinary, computer science – in particular distributed, self-organizing algorithms – is central for such an effort, which our community, in particular from the subfields systems and robotics – is prepared to lead. Computer Science is not only needed to understand the algorithms that drive such future materials, but also how to make them.
This workshop will build upon the inaugural AFOSR/ARO-sponsored workshop on “Robotic Materials” at CU Boulder, which has established a dialog between the sensor networks, robotics, and material science communities, and the CCC-sponsored workshop on “Material Robotics” at RSS in Cambridge, MA, which has showcased some of the ongoing interdisciplinary work at the intersection of computing, robotics, and material science.
Nikolaus Correll, University of Colorado at Boulder
Kris Pister, University of California, Berkeley
Robert F. Shepherd, Cornell University
The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) will cover travel expenses for all participants who desire it. Participants are asked to make their own travel arrangements to get to the workshop, including purchasing airline tickets. Following the workshop, CCC will circulate a reimbursement form that participants will need to complete and submit, along with copies of receipts for amounts exceeding $75.
In general, standard Federal travel policies apply: CCC will reimburse for non-refundable economy airfare on U.S. Flag carriers; and no alcohol will be covered.
For more information, please see the Guidelines for Participant Reimbursements from CCC.
Additional questions about the reimbursement policy should be directed to Ann Drobnis, CCC Director (adrobnis [at] cra.org).