I am Yigit Menguc, a postdoc researching soft robotics at the Harvard MicroRobotics Lab .
The development of soft robotics is a new research focus spanning the fields of engineering, chemistry and materials science with potential applications in medicine, manufacturing, and human-robot cooperation. I am able to lead the field of soft robotics thanks to my training whereby I look at nature for solutions to exciting, multidisciplinary engineering problems. As an illustrative example, consider an octopus in contrast to an assembly line robot: one is rigid, fast, and precise; the other is compliant and agile. Soft systems like the octopus can be used to guide the design of soft devices suited for safe interaction with complex systems such as humans.
I am primarily an experimentalist, and am most adept at empirical observation of mechanical systems. My focus is on developing passive and under-actuated mechanical systems under the umbrella of robotics. So far I have conducted research on gecko-inspired self-cleaning adhesives, robotic micromanipulation, wall-climbing robots, and wearable motion capture. Throughout my research, two common themes across emegrge: (a) the bioinspired design of mechanical intelligence and (b) the use of novel manufacturing techniques.